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A3 Torment Advice Continued: My Walkthrough

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[Spoiler warning]


This post is intended as a companion to My Party Build and Advice Post. It takes off where the walkthrough element of the other post leaves off, and focuses exclusively on that walkthrough element. My original motivation for this post was to lay out my case for Randomizer and others that you can prevail in Torment without assigning any skill points to Endurance. You can achieve this chiefly by facing challenges according to an optimal order, postponing certain fights, and going out of your way to seek out others. This way, you ensure that the potential to die in one round of combat is never an issue that creates frustration or prevents progress. At the same time, you ensure that a dex-based tank becomes and remains avoidance-capped — and everyone in your party becomes and remains hit-capped — against as many level-appropriate enemies as possible. From that position of power, successfully mitigating or healing damage as needed is possible largely by finding the right strategy and tactics. It is also a matter of keeping your party and its members well-built, which I began to outline in my first post. In this walkthrough, I will focus on detailing the challenge completion order, strategy, and tactics that have yielded continued success in Torment with my party.


To recap from my first post, I assume that the party is level 5 when first venturing onto the surface. I assume they defeated the goblins and bandits in Upper Avernum, along with select challenges ranging no farther north than New Cotra and Ghikra.


From first surfacing to defeating the Slime Plague:


1) Kill unicorns, still prioritizing Daze. Even a well-built avoidance tank won't have enough avoidance yet to reliably avoid getting hit by unicorns, and they can one-shot a tank. Postpone Benthorn and the imp behind him.


2) Use the first stone circle, which is accessed by clearing the mountain path north, then heading slightly east. Make your way around western Krizsan Province counterclockwise, picking up the Steel Breastplate from the cache on your way to the western towns.


3) Fully explore those towns, leaving the magic barrier in Pergies for when you learn the spell and don't need to blow a crystal on it. Postpone the scribbane package quest from Pergies, Gruhkbar's Pit, and the snakes just west of the Agate Tower.


4) Sweep the rest of the mainland western Krizsan Province map, killing slimes on your way to Krizsan, but selling your unicorn horns (which usually levels up my whole party) before taking on Agate Tower. For the Mega Spineflinger, summon a shade, since shades are immune to cold damage. You can also keep a melee fighter alive if they are not acting first in party order. Keep the first party member out of range of the frost, and have them use scrolls of Group Heal to help keep the melee fighter alive. You may need to use Healing Potions liberally, which I don't find you need very often, so you should have plenty saved up to burn through by this point. For Bojar, keep your backrow characters just outside the room. If you focus fire him hard enough, he may not get around to exploding everyone in the room, but you might as well be safe.


5) Sweep the Krizsan Province map again, north through the Inn of Blades to the mountains, then back south on your way east to the Slime Pit. Postpone the Get Metal Lumps quest. For the final boss of the Slime Pit, focus fire it, don't be ashamed to use Healing Potions and/or Group Heal scrolls, and use summons to keep the slime adds busy that it sends at your characters.


6) Turn in the Slime Plague quest in Krizsan, and head back to Fort Emergence with the news for Anaximander and Berra.


Preparing for the Roach Plague:


7) Sell Magical Notes, talk to Kelner to actually reset the enchantment device, and enchant a Steel Breastplate. Again, I hope this early enchanting doesn't hurt me in the endgame. I've read there are 13 uses across devices. I'm being careful to only enchant gear that I'll use for a while, and save 8 uses for my endgame BIS (Best In Slot) items.


😎 Explore the Tower of Magi. If I have a Piercing Crystal, I might use it to complete the quest for Carrie's notes. Buy 6 Arcane Lore total, excluding the one party member I never intend to cast spells (my dual wielder). Buy priest spells. If there's one priest spell I might hold off on, it's Heal. I find Minor Heal is sufficiently effective, given that I assign a point of Priest Spells every level until 19.


9) Go back to Fort Emergence and read the spell books you just hit the AL requirement for.


10) Sell any Stoneshatter scrolls from here on out. Go back to the wolf den under the Goblin Lair and use Move Mountains to get the previously inaccessible loot.


11) Go down that southern corridor in Upper Avernum, and get ambushed by the rats including the Vapor Rat. I should be able to handle them now. Also clear the chitrach larvae guarding the herb patch southwest of New Cotra, fight the shade along the western border to the northwest of New Cotra, and I can probably also handle the nephilim camp north of the shade. Same with the fire worms on the northern shore of the big lake, and the bugs in the backroom in Ghikra. Tell Rentar-Irhno what you found on the surface, for XP and a crappy ring to sell. I can probably also clear most of the lizards down the twisty paths on the east side between the bandit lair and Erika's Tower, but not the basilisk yet. I realized it won't work to use an Invulnerability Potion to fight the Ice Worm, since it's an outdoor encounter and it acts first at that level. I can, however, probably clear New Formello, but whether I want to try to solve the whole chitrach problem at this level is a close call. Even putting every possible point into each character's primary attack stat, the party still won't be hit-capped against chitrachs. But if built well, hit chances may be high enough to yield a decent chance of success. If you attempt it, make sure to save after the first three waves. Null bugs are nasty at this level. If you can beat those ones, you can also complete the Murder Cave quest. Killing all the sliths near Erika's Tower for the Vampiric Blade will present a similar level of difficulty. That blade is pretty much made to order for a dex-based tank, although at this point, you may need to switch some gear to avoid being encumbered by the strength penalty. A Girdle of Strength can help with this, perhaps borrowed from another character.


12) Explore Erika's Tower very carefully, saving frequently. Expect to have to postpone multiple of the accessible fights at this level, including the ghosts in the kitchen, the Splitting Worm out back, the contents of all the cages except the one with the dead Empire soldier, and the room that summons monsters when you try to get the Gleaming Blade. Read the Vahnatai Notes, which gives you a point of VL (Vahnatai Lore). Return to the Tower of Magi to complete that quest, granting you another point.


13) You should have 9 Arcane Lore total, 6 bought and 3 from VL. The other point of VL is from stealing the crystal in Ghikra. This is enough to return to the Agate Tower and read the spell book below it. Also, having level 3 Move Mountains enables you to access the spell book on the first level of the Slime Pit. On your way, try to complete the scribbane package quest from Pergies and Grukhbar's Pit, avoiding Grukhbar himself. You should also be able to handle Benthorn the unicorn and the imp behind him now. Focus fire Benthorn and include him in your AoE, since he heals the other unicorns. A scroll of Spellward wouldn't hurt with the imp.


14) Do one more sweep of mainland Kriszan Province south of the mountains, going north and then east from the Slime Pit. Stopping by Porter's Retreat and buying a map from Kendrick wouldn't hurt, although you're unlikely to make use of it for a while, but it's cheaper there than in Sharimik. Clear the Wolfrider Warrens. For the boss fight, try to focus fire the boss and AoE him and the other goblins, avoiding his pets. Otherwise, he will greatly buff his pets, including by granting them Spine Shield so that they become dangerous to melee.


15) Make a little potion-brewing detour heading east from Krizsan Province along the south coast, assuming you have at least one Graymold and one Mandrake by this point. It'd be nice to get the Discipline Blade as a reward for killing the ogres near Bolton, but to say that fight would be hard at this level is the understatement of the year. You can just decline to fight them. Take the ferry and head east to Libras, then buy tickets to Lost Island from the innkeeper. Ask Harmon on Lost Island to brew at least one Graymold Salve. They are really rare and useful potions that somehow magically affect the whole party, but the timing of brewing at least one is to prepare for a quest.


Really getting filthy:


16) Consider making a detour to Sharimik to buy priest spells including Unshackle Mind, Mass Healing, and Mass Curing. Unshackle is situational, but in the fights where it's useful, it can be downright critical. The latter two spells will make fights with Mung, Guardian, and other poison-spewing roaches significantly easier. While you're in Sharimik, break into the back of the Mayor's office through a hidden switch requiring 13 or 14 Tool Use, and steal a peak at the Dispel Barrier spell book. Ooh! nlambert's index, linked to from Randomizer's Strategy Central stickied thread, can help you efficiently look up the areas past level 1 barriers you may have skipped. Randomizer's Massive List might be a more comprehensive source, though.


Note 1: Whatever else you do in Sharimik, don't pay 1,000g to get permission from Levin. He'll be reluctantly willing to waive that fee after you defeat the roach plague.


Note 2: Keep in mind that whenever you hit level 12, I recommend getting Sage Lore for everyone and reading the previously undecipherable books in the Tower of Magi (in a secret room, opened by a switch in a shop off the south perimeter) and the back of Erika's Tower. Read the books at your convenience, since you won't be able to actually cast the more useful of the spells (i.e. Arcane Summon) until at least level 15.


Note 3: In light of note 2, as you buy more spells in Sharimik, two that you definitely won't need are Minor Summon and Summon Aid.


17) Fully explore Farport, which is just northeast of Fort Emergence, over the mountains on the shore. This is the earliest you're likely to encounter a Tool Use requirement as high as 15, but it's just an inn room that you can alternately explore by paying to stay at.


18) Take the ferry to Port Townsend. It's safe to fully explore all the towns on the Isle of Bigail, notwithstanding the roaches you'll encounter in and between them. But these should be easy enemies for a well-built party of this level, with the possible exception of Mung Roaches. Try to AR Mung Roaches down as priority targets before they spray you with poison. Head west and slightly north from Port Townsend to Shayder. Postpone the southernmost of the two locked rooms near a sign warning of traps: it has a ghost that will eat you utterly. Postpone the western room with indications that it's a private residence: it has bandits. If you want to prepare for getting as close as you can to joining the Thieves' Guild, buy drinks from the bartender, then stronger drinks, then pay for the secret, then talk to Irvine. Buy a map from the librarian. Give Jed some Graymold Salve that you hopefully had brewed back on Lost Island. This allows you to be very cheaply trained by Meena in NL (Nature Lore) and Bows. She has a chance to be in either Shayder or Hectar. IIRC there is one cache and two herb patches accessible at this point on the isle with NL requirements above 4. 8 — if not lower — is enough for all of them. Clear the sewers. The boss there is an example of a poison-spewing roach that could be made significantly easier if you stopped in Sharimik to train Mass Healing and Mass Curing.


19) Make your way around the isle, exploring and fighting things unless otherwise noted. Asking Kurtz in Fenris Port to craft some Group Heal and Spellward scrolls can prove useful. Point Contemplation should be doable. For the boss fight, park your first character by the fountain, and have them start each round by taking a drink. You can certainly complete the Spiral Crypt quest now, postponing Gorfival himself until you have level 2 Dispel Barrier, which is necessary to access him. You may want to postpone trying to visit the southern lighthouse, as the ursagi on the way are likely to hit hard and be hard to hit at this point. Probably also postpone the ghost in the northern lighthouse, the gremlins, Kneece, and sanctifying the altar in the friendly spider lair. The roachranea in the same spider lair would be hard but borderline doable, as would the undead in the southern part of the lair, accessible with Move Mountains. If these fights prove too frustrating now, there's no rush. The roachranea's loot is crap, and the undead guard an enchantment device that you're probably best off not using on your current gear. Do follow through with Spider, the leader of the spiders, to learn the location of the friendly roaches and ultimately the Filth Factory.


20) Towards the end of this first pass of Bigail, you may want to attempt Kneece, as Purgatos has an extremely useful hidden Haste spell book. Definitely pop a Spellward scroll to help with the fire damage you're going to face. Priorize bats over lizards. Some of your best friends against these fire immune enemies are Icy Rain, Curse the Land, and Call the Storm. Throw typical party placement out the window. Bats keep themselves spread out. If you have a melee fighter, keep your eye out for the rare opportunity to AR melee multiple enemies down. Your priest should similarly be on the lookout for good placement to Call the Storm multiple enemies without hitting allies, which might mean getting out in front. Of course, ask for Purgatos' help defeating the roaches immediately before or after breaking in around the back and sneaking a look at his spell book. Jerk :P.


Optional: While you're on Kneece, if you're willing to use cheesy tactics, I discovered a way to make the Xurphus the Drake fight slow but entirely devoid of risk. Approach the magic barriers to the left of the southernmost building, home of the drake, moving around as needed until the drake's pet lizards notice you. Attack them at range from here, and they can't get to you. I think it's even possible to get the drake out and do the same, but my memory is a little fuzzy on the details of how I cheesed this fight. Anyway, he's got some good/interesting loot, including Mercuric Leather. While not worth equipping on its own IMHO, said leather could conceivably be good on your hasting mage in the future, if combined with another AP-boosting item.


21) Now that you've cleared the easier parts of Bigail, and perhaps some challenging but efficiently-rewarded areas, you might switch gears for a bit. It's a decent time to go back and see whether you can and kill the snakes just west of the Agate Tower (there are two groups hiding in different spots in the swamp), the bandits who fight you for the Metal Lumps quest, and/or Grukhbar. Don't expect to be close to hit-capped against Grukhbar, so it'd be a slow fight at this point, but probably doable with Mass Healing. If you take the ferry near Bolton and head east, you should be ready to fight the ogres obsessed with the Xian Skull; help the nephilim; explore Libras, Lost Isle, Storm Port, and Gebra (postponing the monks there), and buy 40 or so Fine Clothes in Storm Port (cheaper than in Libras). If you buy many more than that, you risk not being able to sell them. Postpone Gorst and the other islands with basilisks. You should be able to easily handle a single basilisk at this point, but groups are likely to kill characters in one round. Heading slightly north of these southeastern towns, the dryad grove (one character only – use your tank) should be easily doable if you just follow the gremlins' cryptic advice. The answer to the first riddle is "a rose." The one who talks only in numbers becomes greatly offended if you say numbers out of counting order :D. With the third, literally just go where he's pointing, which enables you to successfully pick a flower to then use to put the ogre to sleep. If your tank has trouble with the rats, that should tell you you've done something horrendously suboptimal with your build. But if you've survived this far, you're probably fine.


22) You may want to postpone the gremlins up the path with the Perfect Flower for the other dryad's quest, especially the later waves which include Null Bugs. I recommend postponing the Fiery Pit. I cleared it once around this point, but it was tough and resource-intensive, and involved a lot of reloading. There will also be a drake guarding the exit as you attempt to leave, so you can't just explore a bit and expect to leave safely. The Golddale Mine, however, should be easily doable. The boss is a pushover, a standard case of "focus fire the magic one and AoE down the rest." It's the immobilizing flingers on your way out that are more likely to give you even a bit of trouble. The traps require as much as 14 Tool Use, but all you get from disarming them is a shorter route back to Golddale to turn in the quest.


Warning: In Golddale itself, be very careful with Ivanova's book-stealing quest. It's easy to accidentally complete right after picking it up, and the only way to avoid this is to manually quit the dialogue. Why avoid completing it? It's about postponing the reward until you can make optimal use of it. The reward is +1 Hardiness for the whole party. Before turning that quest in, make sure to first get 10 Hardiness for everyone through skill points, then buy 2 points each from a trainer, then turn in that quest and use the Hardiness crystals you've hopefully been saving.


23) The Ursagi may still be a bit tough at this point. Your tank may not be avoidance-capped against them yet, and they can kill a character in one round after hasting themselves, so they present a similar issue as did the unicorns when you first encountered them. It would be more tedious than with the unicorns to fight them by prioritizing Daze, because they are harder to kill, and come on — you should have decent AoE spells at this point. I vote for postponing them.


24) On the other hand, it may require an Invulnerability Potion, but you should be able to beat Vahkohs now with the right tactics. To fully prepare, visit Squiggus first to read the Mass Healing spell book. It's in a room opened by a hidden switch, and spawns a fight with gremlins and Null Bugs. Then in the Lair of Vahkohs, read his Protection spell book (the right one — avoid the left one) just after talking to him and taking him up on his little game. Fight your way back towards the entrance, saving as you approach it. Prebuff just before he would see you round the corner, and start combat manually. Send your tank to one side. If your tank is dex-based, pop AR and rain down on him from range. If you have a melee fighter, send them in to AR him down as well, remembering to drink an Invulnerability Potion before the last hit. If anyone didn't get Battle Frenzy from Haste, have them drink some Gremlin Wine or a Speed Potion, or maybe cover your bases by doing this during precombat buffing. Have your mage cast Arcane Summon to the opposite side as your tank, and place your priest in the middle. Hopefully you can kill Vahkohs before he summons bats, because your party will probably be overwhelmed if he does. He will likely live to summon rats, though, which your tank and Arcane Summon are now in a good position to tank. AoE down each group of rats separately, starting with the one being tanked by the summon, since your tank should be much tankier than a summon at this point. Finally, end Vahkohs for good by heading back past his throne room, looting the switch-accessible areas on the right, and continuing north through a passageway that was previously blocked by a barrier. Hopefully you learned Dispel Barrier in Sharimik, and can dispel another barrier that lies still ahead, then Move Mountains and you're good. Destroy the crystal housing Vahkohs' soul, and the demons guarding it should be pie compared to Vahkohs.


25) Either before or after Vahkohs, fully explore Squiggus and Lennus and the immediately surrounding areas, sell your Fine Clothes, and buy 40 or more Fine Herbs to take back to Libras. Take note that you risk not being able to sell them at some point after 90 total, which you could try to get close to without exceeding in one trip, if you have enough gold and space in your packs. For killing Vahkohs, you not only got a unique shield and cloak from his lair, but you got level 3 Protection from his lair, and now you also get level 3 Minor Heal as a result of turning in the quest. You should be ready to steamroll the rest of the roaches!


Filth Incarnate:


26) You can probably defeat most of the remaining accessible areas on the Isle of Bigail now, which I recommend doing before the Filth Factory. You're going to end up destroying the factory in a glorious blaze of flames and explosions, so you want to be as well-prepared and thorough as possible, because you'll never be able to go back. I recommend clearing the rest of the first level before using the one-person portal. There's a mirror in the room with the single laser, which can be hard to see. Move it, by bumping into it from the right direction, to block the laser and clear the way to some loot. Just down a passageway continuing clockwise from that room, there are some worms that may be challenging. Prebuff, and use a Spellshield scroll to mitigate damage from the frost ones. In light of that, focus fire the other worm first, which sprays poison at the group. Mass Healing/Curing might already be coming in handy. They likely will again when you face the Prototype Roaches in a room located almost full circle clockwise around the first level.


27) When you're ready for the single-person portal, either an evasion tank or a melee fighter with AR would make good candidates. The latter can cut through enemies faster, and will just have to use a healing potion or two. If you want to ever have level 3 Blink, you're going to have to use the panel to release the swamp creatures. They're shamblers, so hopefully you've been pumping your main attack stats enough to achieve a half-decent hit chance against them. Watch out for their Spine Shield, which makes meleeing them dangerous. If all the shamblers you're fighting have Spine Shield up, and you have an evasion tank and a melee fighter, have the melee fighter use Blade Shield and tank it out, while your evasion tank plays AR archer. If all else on the first level is explored, send someone back through the portal to deactivate the lasers, and make your way down to the Lower Filth Factory before the lasers come back online.


28) To get past the first few rooms of the Lower Filth Factory, first activate the lone switch in the one room, which closes the vents. Then activate the switch in the room with the three that overloads the pipes and causes a stinky explosion, given the unfortunate state of the vents. [btw aren't you kind of glad that technology to reproduce smells in games hasn't really taken off?] If you don't know which switch to activate, just pull all three. Go through the newly-accessible portal, and make your way around the perimeter before taking the path toward the center. This second ring from the outside ends with the first Guardian Cockroach. Depending on where exactly you encounter him and the placement of regular Cockroaches around him, you may be able to focus fire him down before he even acts.


29) In the third ring from the outside, you're going to trigger ambushes as soon as you cross the southernmost and northernmost points. These each include a guardian among more — and tougher — adds than the first one had. You could try to have an archer tank clear the cockroaches in front of the guardian so that a melee fighter can reach it in the first round, although I'm not sure if I've ever actually pulled this off. Alternately, focus fire the guardian without the help of a melee fighter, and have said fighter start mowing down different cockroaches on either side honestly. Summons can definitely help take some heat off the non-tanks. Finally, as soon as you attempt to enter the fourth and final ring from the outside, one last ambush is triggered, which features a guardian on either side. A melee fighter has a short and clear path to ARing down the northern one before it can act, while an archer tank should step towards the other and cut into it with AR, and the casters can get that guardian in their AoE. Any guardian that survives to spray its filthy poison around is going to give your priest good use of Mass Healing/Curing.


30) The only group of roaches remaining is bunched up so tight, AoEing them down will be like shooting fish in a barrel compared to the ambushes. It takes you back to the simple days before friendly fire! Inspect the dragon scales next to those roaches, and you're ready to set fire to the very center of the factory. What could go wrong with this plan, right? Just go in and drop the egg, and run for your life!!! You'll be ambushed by relatively easy roaches on the way out, and finally a lone guardian who drops some armor that's good for pretty much one thing: selling. Put it straight into your junk bag, and immediately leave through the special exit behind that guardian. You'll hear satisfying sounds of roaches getting crunched up in the magical fire behind you. Turn in the quest in Shayder, and head back to Fort Emergence to tell Anaximander and Berra the news. You'll also get experience again from telling Rentar-Ihrno in Ghikra, but no items this time.


Preparing for Diplomatic Killing:


Or will it murderous diplomacy with the troglos?


To be continued...

Edited by Nobear
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