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[GF1-M]: Alhoon's strategy questions (please no spoilers for further areas)


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Hello, I am pretty early in the game, with just a few hours in so far. I would like some help from the "Masters" here but please avoid spoilers. I.e. if the advice is "Wait till you beat X in Y area" then please use something like "Wait till you do some other quests first." or something. I have not played Geneforge 1 (the original) saving myself for years to play the remake fresh. 

  

I play a Shaper on normal difficulty and I focus on Essence mastery and so far, on Fire Shaping with a bit of dabbing out to mechanics and leadership. 

In the future I will have a couple of blessing spells and I already have the two early healing spells and daze. 

 

I was having a relatively headache-free time in the early game. I went to Pentil woods with my two Cryoas (no melee cryoa) and my trusty buffed Fyora. 

And then, the Vlish came and I have to save before every battle! I didn't have nearly as much trouble with the roamers, having to run away from the Thorny Fen once I think (Roamer calling friends). I managed to cut my way to the entrance of Pentil (which I found early), with all my creations wounded and my char at zero essence. And I have 3 creations. 

 

Should I invest the Essence I have remaining to buff up a Cryora to be melee?  Would the Leap ability allow my Cryora to jump on the $%^#%$@ Vlish and hit it before they call their friends?
Or I should use my essence to make another Fyora? 
Or it is better to keep the essence to heal/bless my poor creations? (Reminder, after battling 4 or 5 Vlish, I ran out of essence - with bless magic at 1, war blessing barely gets me through a battle) 
Does Daze work reliably on the Vlish? I have mind magic 1, I don't put points in it. 

My control on the creations is not bad. Will that help them resist the Terror? Because none of them resisted so far. Or it's completely irrelevant and they will never resist? 

Edited by alhoon
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You should have some essence for healing and curing mental effects on you creations. Even 10 essence will help and you can replace it using essence pods until you can level up to get more.

 

Cryoas and other fire creations have decent melee attacks, but usually I just move back a step to use the more damaging range attack. Some monsters have higher resistance to magic range damage,.

 

Daze and other metal effects don't work as well on magic creations, but if you are facing 3 or more, then it is worth trying if you don't have an attack that will kill some.

 

Higher leadership will help creation mental resistance, but I just hope my character doesn't get a mental attack so I can cure it instead. Some items will help increase creation mental resistance.

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With 10 essence, I can't heal my creations, remove mental stuff and cast daze. Using an essence pod to get back 10 essence seems a waste of an essence pod to me... should I re-evaluate on that? 

 

Leadership helps resist mental attacks on creations? That's awesome. Thanks.

 

Do I have to keep Mind increased for Daze to keep up like the previous GF games? Or with mind 1 I could get by till I am level 10 or something? 

Edited by alhoon
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Mental magic will increase the duration of mental spells, not the chance to hit. Regardless, I'd recommend getting 3 since you need that for the final mental spell.

 

If you're on normal though, there's no need to stress out too much on your build. Just don't do anything really weird like put all your points in Melee Weapons and you should be fine 😛 

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I've noticed the major change Jeff's implemented here to make hit rates for melee/ranged/magic all be tied solely to character level, which has a huge impact on gameplay. As I've mentioned in another topic, it makes a melee/magic (yes, magic) solo Guardian much more viable than in the original. Been really fun so far.

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7 minutes ago, Mechalibur said:

No. Most enemies have between 0 and 30 mental resist, regardless of level.

 

Wowww!!! So, daze works most of the time regardless of your skill?!?!? 

Wonderful news. 

 

  

1 hour ago, Mechalibur said:

Mental magic will increase the duration of mental spells, not the chance to hit. Regardless, I'd recommend getting 3 since you need that for the final mental spell.

 

Why would I want that? I just want daze. 🙂 Trying to get a full group is expensive. And to think, I wasted a lot of living tools to get that disrupt wand from Ellrah's keep that does daze... when I can cast daze. :( 

(Or is the wand more powerful than daze somehow?)

 

Edited by alhoon
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3 minutes ago, Mechalibur said:

You'd want the final spell because Dominate is really, really good 😛

 

How long does it last and how much essence does it cost? I also have low energy BTW. All I do is pump shaping. I will start adding to leadership now. 

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1 hour ago, Fyora et Labora said:

Mental Magic doesn't buff hit rate anymore?  Does this mean Mental Magic is basically useless in late-game / higher-difficulty-sertting scenarios?

Right click one foes and only a few in the endgame are in the 60 to 100% mental resistance. Mental magic works best on battle and fire shaping creations.

 

1 hour ago, alhoon said:

And costs in essence / energy? 

3 essence, 40 energy, 9 action points but with enough spell craft and haste you might get a second attack,

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3 essence eh? I see what you mean now. If I use dominate 5 times (15 essence) I am practically having another creation, for 15 essence. With mind magic 3 and dominate at 1, how long does dominate last? 5 turns? 6? 

Edited by alhoon
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2 hours ago, alhoon said:

3 essence eh? I see what you mean now. If I use dominate 5 times (15 essence) I am practically having another creation, for 15 essence. With mind magic 3 and dominate at 1, how long does dominate last? 5 turns? 6? 

15 Essence for a single creation is not going to cut it mid-game onwards. I have 3 fairly basic acid artila and that leaves me with about a third of my essence remaining. For reference to quests, I have not completed 'Meet the Takers' so I am still in the late earlygame/early midgame. The spell utility is far more effective than 1 more artila or something dumped into a melee creation. Dropping heals, cures, buffs as required, etc. is invaluable in bigger fights to anything that an extra ~20 damage a turn could do.

As time goes on I think you will naturally save a few chunks of essence. Although you do appear to have found the midgame difficulty bump. Those vlish are monsters when you first meet them.

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Yeah, I pop in occasionally but the forum always forgets me and having to go and log back in takes time and effort. So sometimes I just read and check the status of G1-Mutagen. And yeehaw, it is finally out.

 

Just going through old notifications now actually and turns out some guy was mean to me on April 21st 2020 and I never got the chance for a mean retort back at them. I'm devastated. :D

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Posted (edited)

The sneaky Vlish issue: 

After significant effort, I managed to clear out Pentil Woods, got the message "You killed enough Vlish" and all. 

I was near the South-Eastern exit and hurt. I walk out from that direction and I see a spooky place called "The Tombs" (I play the game blind, without prior experience of GF1 so I don't know what that is). When the Vlish were handing me by butt on a plate and that Spawner in Pentil Woods had me reloading like 3 times and use 2 curing spores (spawning vlish that turned my creations away) and 1 healing spores bag... when I saw a place called "the Tombs" I said "Nah, not yet." And I returned back to the cleared Pentil Woods. 

A vlish was on top of me the moment I stepped back carefree. I kid you not. I click "get back to that cleared area" in the map and I get in an encounter with a Vlish. Thankfully no other Vlish were nearby so the Screech didn't mean I lost my trusty creations and a lucky cryoa crit = I won despite being wounded. 

 

As a note, I have lost a creation to the Spawned. I may start naming them 1, 2, 3 etc like @Blxz did in his playthrough of Geneforge 5, in  honor of his re-emergence. 

 

Is there a way to stop the sneaky Vlish?

 

Furthermore, Could you tell me whether a Vlish Canister or Clawbug cannister is in my future? The Roamer Cannister requires six living tools, so it would seriously set me back. 

Edited by alhoon
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There is a roamer canister in the Spiral Burrow that requires nothing but  killing some things in the way. 

 

The clawbug and vlish canisters are to the east so you won't see them for a while. Although the Tombs is a shortcut to them.

 

You found out that zone cleared and monster free are different things.

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I wouldnt want to spoil strategy too much, but if you can reach pentil you can get a Battle Alpha Canister without practically any risk so long as you have moderately high leadership. its not in pentil though but if you have reached pentil you can reach this area.

For anyone absolutely wondering where to get some early Alphas...
 

Spoiler

Freeplace, 3 zones north of pentil. You need somewhere around 6-8 leadership to get it without a fight, and the path to this zone has literally no combat involved.

 

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Posted (edited)

I am not sure I could handle an Alpha yet... it could well go rogue and kill me. 

 

  

1 hour ago, Randomizer said:

There is a roamer canister in the Spiral Burrow that requires nothing but  killing some things in the way. 

 

Where is the Spiral Burrow? 

Edited by alhoon
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28 minutes ago, alhoon said:

I am not sure I could handle an Alpha yet... it could well go rogue and kill me. 

 

  

 

Where is the Spiral Burrow? 

 

The teir 3 creations arent crazy high level, you could probably handle one as a shock troop.

 

Spiral Burrow is

Spoiler

2 zones north 1 zone west of Ellrah's keep.

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In the insanely awesome Inutile village, one of my favorite places packed with very interesting people, I peacefully got a key to go see some enigmatic Ascended that ... ? I have no idea what they are, whether they are Sholai canister junkies or ghosts. What I know is they put 2 Battle Betas. 

Never the less, to the question. 

 

I confidently strolled to the Ascended labs with the key that the Crystal-shiner Servile assured me would let me see the first of the Ascended. It worked on the battle betas like a charm. I saw an impressive array of creations and I go "hmmm! Those Ascended are probably hitting a few cannisters too many..." and clicked to move between the 4-5 clawbugs and Vlish. 
And they all attacked me and my char was dead before they even finished their attack routine. 

 

Is it a bug? I have the key! Why are they attacking me? Should I leave and return when I can take 4-5 level 9 creations together? 

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Is is not a bug because those are a vlish and arthropods. 

 

You have tow choices here: fight or sneak past to the building to the east by going along the bottom edge. I prefer fight for the experience because it gets tougher soon

.

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1 hour ago, Randomizer said:

Is is not a bug because those are a vlish and arthropods. 

 

You have tow choices here: fight or sneak past to the building to the east by going along the bottom edge. I prefer fight for the experience because it gets tougher soon

.

 

"Gets tougher" than half a dozen 9th lvl creations? I tried sneaking but with 3 creations in the party it is not easy. Is there a reason I should go see whatever is there now instead of when I am say... 1-2 levels highers?

 

 

__________________________

 

Another important question: I have been told that there is a leadership-way to go grab a battle-alpha canister that is a few zones North of Pentil. However... I have fire shaping 4 and battle shaping 1. I checked the files and saw Battle Alpha basic level is 7 while basic roamer level is 3. 
So... effectively my battle Alpha would be level 8 or something while my roamer is level 9 already because of boosts and I can give him a couple more levels. 

 

What I want to know is: 
Is it worth it to "scam" that way to get battle alphas?

Sure, Alphas have more hp and they have armor ... but they're not ranged. From this thread, they seem to do about the same damage as roamers of equal level. 
My level 9 Roamer costs 17 essence. How much would a battle alpha cost (with one level upgrade)?

 

I play on normal, BTW and so far it is what I expect (casual, I occasionally have to think or if I am unlucky I am swarmed but I am mostly fine). 

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That fight can be cleared pretty early on normal difficulty. No need for Battle Alphas either. Just don't walk up to them, but start combat from a distance and be sure to use Daze a lot. With a wand you can get two tries at once.

(I'm not a huge fan of Alphas though with their cleave their damage is fairly impressive. And they are quite tough, though a Roamer with the toughness upgrade is no slouch either. And my Shaper had already invested heavily in Fire shaping by the time I found that canister, so there was no real compelling reason to use Alphas)

Edited by Iguana-on-a-stick
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8 minutes ago, Iguana-on-a-stick said:

That fight can be cleared pretty early on normal difficulty. 

 

Is there a reason to do it early though? Instead of 2 levels later? 

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I wait until level 10 on normal and level 12 or 13 on torment difficulty just so there is a decent to hit chance to do the entire zone. The only reason to do the Ascended Labs is to avoid a fight in Barrens Outpost that gives no experience or loot.

 

It also starts two new quest lines.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am at a bridge with a bunch of Sholai in the area. I don't know the language  of the Sholai and I haven't found the Takers yet. 

The bridge has a named mage, Sofya that has a ton of hp, an lolz-powerz Sholai (20th lvl, and he has some zap-teleport ability and a storm of swords) and a bunch of turrets. Using two waves of 3 pyroroamers, and of course several death-load-try-again attempts, I have weakened them enough to be manageable. 

 

However... this area is clearly not for a level 8 Shaper. 
Is there a way to befriend the people on the bridge if I go to the other areas I can find? 

 

PS. Is it me, or the Sholai are like the Barzites from GF2? The random dudes that patrol around are level 12 and also have a ton of abilities. 

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You are trying to cross the hardest guarded bridge until you hit the Front Gate, If you allied with the Takers, then they aren't hostile.

 

This area is hard even around level 14 because they are hard to hit. They are there to protect against some one else,

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I doubt there's anything else in the whole island that can threaten them. If you mean Syros the lvl 20 Drayk... it's just a lvl 20 drayk. Syros is more powerful IMO than the Aug Sholai (larger area = more of my creations) but the Barzite boss behind the Sholai and a host of turrets would make short work of him. 

(That said, Syros is the only drayk I've met so far. No Cryodrayks, no other drayks). 


Still, after a few loads-and-saves with my Shaper and my waves of Pyroroamers (normal difficulty, a lot of essence pots and a ton of spores) I cleared the bridge. The loot was underwhelming considering I spent the whole leveling up to strategically take out these guys and cut through about a quarter of my stash of spores and items. 

 

So, I reloaded. I have read that higher level enemies are "precious" if you want to level up when you're higher level. And now that I learn they can be non-hostile... pffft. I am here for the talks and the story not to test my mettle and build against all odds. (And if I wanted to do that, I wouldn't have invested in leadership/mechanics nor I would play in normal). 

 

PS. I don't what is the Front Gate but I guess that's a spoiler. 

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There are some other Sholai guards that might be able to. Might. Otherwise...yeah.  It was a tough fight even at a higher level for me.  

 

As a rule, there's always SOMEWHERE you can go that you can fight stuff semi-effectively.  The northern wastes are, despite their fearsome reputation, relatively easy to clear in a way that eastern areas are not (I mean, be cautious. But you may be surprised).  Just don't kill any weird bunkers full of bandit serviles.  

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Simulated Knave said:

There are some other Sholai guards that might be able to. Might. Otherwise...yeah.  It was a tough fight even at a higher level for me.  

 

As a rule, there's always SOMEWHERE you can go that you can fight stuff semi-effectively.  The northern wastes are, despite their fearsome reputation, relatively easy to clear in a way that eastern areas are not (I mean, be cautious. But you may be surprised).  Just don't kill any weird bunkers full of bandit serviles.  

 

 

Eh? In the wastes or the Eastern Areas? Cause I killed a bunker of bandit serviles! Am I locked out of any big quest or lore-heavy discussion? 

 

If I don't kill any character with a name that doesn't initiate dialogue, am I OK?

 

 

EDIT: Below the Crystal Burrow that I cleared easily is a place where half a dozen of 13 lvl Clawbugs show up and wipe the floor with whatever you have. Clearly, that's another place I should not be in... Generally as an 9th lvl Shaper with 4 14th lvl creations, any place that gives me trouble is a place that I am probably not supposed to be in. That's the rule of a thumb I am going with. :)

Edited by alhoon
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As I recall you can still do some of it, but the Ascended questline has an area that is hostile until you do part of the questline.  That said, if you haven't killed anyone with a name you're probably OK.  

 

I'd say you're best off being somewhere where your creations are two or three levels higher than the enemy.  And Clawbugs are tough little bastards.  

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Posted (edited)
On 3/24/2021 at 5:34 PM, Randomizer said:

They are there to protect against some one else,

 

 

I see what you mean... now, that the Obeyer spy in the Takers threw out some quite important information that changes everything... 

I was completely blindsided by that info to be honest. I think I now know who they are guarding against. If the obeyer spy is right that is. 

Edited by alhoon
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Posted (edited)

What is a good level for Mechanics and leadership for this game? 9-10 and the rest from items like the other games? Lower? 

 

I am not asking about deactivating that one legendary difficulty mine or not passing the leadership check that is there only for the very pacifists. What is a "would get me through most of it except of a few cases" level, that's what I am asking.

Edited by alhoon
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Maximum mechanics for traps and power spirals you will encounter is 14, but with Tinker's gloves giving +2 you can do almost the entire game with your total in the 10 to 12 range.

 

Leadership  of 9 or 10 will be enough with the maximum check being 12. Girdle of Leadership is +2. You can get by with 5 if yo don't mind fighting,

 

There are trainers for +1 in Mechanics and Leadership (if you aren't a Taker/Sholiai aligned).

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Thank you. I have already trained both leadership and mechanics so I wouldn't get any from training but it is good to know. 

Living tools help only on locks, right? Not traps or spirals? I mean, I have not found any mine or spiral or trap that told me "you need 2 living tools". I either could do it, or not. 

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  • 1 month later...

Hi there. I found the time and energy to get back to this great game after a short hiatus. I am progressing steadily, I have reached lvl 12 and I am exploring towards random directions trying to find a Drayk cannister
So... without many spoilers, may I ask which direction I should  be looking at for a drayk cannister? I am in some mines North-East with pylons. Sneaky pylons that killed Firetooth, my first ever creation in the game that has been with me since I was level 1. I have no trouble turning back and going somewhere else - after I get revenge on the pylons. My Shaper is level 12, I play moderate difficulty and my creations are level 14-16. Theoretically, I should be able with some save-scumming and item use to get through most areas to grab a cannister. I am not aligned with any faction. 

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Hope this is non-spoiler enough: The closest to where you are is west through the mines and continue on that path. Another one is several zones north of Pentil. Let me know if you want to know how many zones west of the mines or north of Pentil. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

What ways are there to clear the "Eastern Mines" please? I have killed every one of those evil pylons that killed my creation and I have found a device that uses crystals to do not-useful-to-me things. I cannot deactivate those machines there, they blow up on me and kill my creations. I guess I could battle-grid my way there and do it, but I wonder whether that would be enough.

I have killed every pylon in there because they killed my first ever creation. 

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