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Progression and Levelling

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Hello everyone,


I cleared out Mortrax's cave except the final vahnatai boss. I am wondering what a typical level is like at this point, as my characters are 5 3 5 5 (and I made some bad stats choices on some of them too) and it seems pretty difficult to actually beat this battle. Is it possible to just jump at tasks right away like this, or is it expected for me to grind it out a little bit to gain strength before advancing through the quests? Or is my fighting strategy just bad.



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Which game? (Avernum 4, 5, or 6)


Is the 5 3 5 5 your current levels?




Ok, I remember it in 4 now & his cave is in the first third of the game - how did you manage to survive at such a low level going that far?


Anyway, iirc (been a while) I had my magic users really stock up on energy potions, put them where you can't be seen by the Vahnatai & drop AoE spells (ice spray probably) onto him/the pylons.  If he can't see you he won't attack (again, iirc) & you can chip away at him.  Or ... send one guy to where he/she can be seen but out of pylon range & drop the ice spray on him (with the furthest edge of it hitting him - keep as far away as possible).  That lures him away from the pylons.  Lure him back into the entry chamber & then block his being able to go back.  Beat upon him as usual.  Or ... go to where you can drop acid on the pylon/s (staying out of his sight) to augment the ice spray (cast, take the hit & retreat to ice spray range, have someone else heal you & continue ice spraying, when the acid wears down/off, repeat.


Keep the buffs up & active.  Summoned monsters are good for distraction/minor damage purposes ... but if you are trying to stay out of sight, he's going to see your new friends & charge out to greet them.  Perhaps only use them in the 'lure him into the chamber' option (to help block his retreat if nothing else).  I try to give everyone (even the meat shield/melee guy) a point or three of priest skills for buffing & healing purposes.  This works well here as they probably won't have high enough mage skills to drop the ice bombs too, but they can heal/buff those that can, leaving them free to chip away at the pylons (when you do manage to kill on it will poison the others/the Vahnatai, that may be a good time to step into view so that your ice bombs hit everyone rather than just the one or two nearest to you


Or do the Leroy Jenkins method & hope for the best (save first...)

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In retrospect, the priest spells would have been a good idea. At this point, I am not sure when I will be adding in that factor as skill points are quite few and far between. Yes I am playing A4, I neglected to mention. I'll try taking out the pylons one by one from a sheltered line of sight, that's a good strategy.


I actually completed the entire cave and managed to survive in the final battle with 1 pylon left, but, it took a lot of tries so I have the sense that my team is quite weak. I've decided to go around killing stuff elsewhere to increase my levels a little bit.

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So the 5 3 5 5 are your levels?


Seriously, how did you get all the way over to the cave without gaining any experience?  Again, it's been a while since I've played but I don't think they were that low before I crossed the bridge leaving the Ft Monastery area (? starting place anyway).  Did you skip the Goblin Complex, Grindstone, & all the other things in that area?  Between that & assorted job board quests there should be plenty of leveling opportunities.


Anyway, back to party building.  In addition to the priest levels I also tend to give everyone a point in mage to start with (eventually building up to ice spray to give them AoE potential) for fireball tossing purposes.  Between that & Smite through Priest spells, there really is no need for an archer/archery skills as either one of them will do more damage than an arrow (generally).  Everyone will have a bow & maybe 'some' skill there as there are times when your energy is low/you want to conserve it & a hail of arrows works ok until the baddie gets close enough to whack him with your sword/s.  Also getting your melee/first to act character up to being able to cast Haste in Mage spells is very good to have.  If he acts first & casts that immediately, there's a decent chance the others can do a couple of actions.  Because character 2 doesn't need to be an archer any more, a melee/magic or priest hybrid is good.  As he/she will be near the front, endurance is needed, but with Priest levels, he/she is a good one to cast buffing spells right after the first's Haste, leaving 3 & 4 to deal out the heavier damage spells.  Which brings us to 3 & 4.  I generally have both of them be 'both' a Mage & Priest, leveling them at roughly a 2:1 ratio (the Mage will do one point of Priest for every two of Mage - opposite for the Priest).  That way, once you do get to say Motrax's Cave, both of them will be able to cast Ice Spray on the pylons (as only being able to cast it once per turn will have the pylon healing itself - at least that way you can chip away at it, & if #2 is high enough also...)


Being able to dump poison/acid on a strong creature can't be considered a bad thing.  It's not worth the energy points if you are otherwise killing 'x' in a turn or two, but for a boss level fight, it can eat away a lot of HP over a few turns.


The good news for you is that if those are your levels, there's a LOT of experience behind you so you should be able to adjust your skills fairly soon/quickly. 


I may go break out A4, this trip down memory lane has inspired me...


Have fun.

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Yes I basically didn't do anything on the Job Board. I think that I am used to Exile 3 where I sort of ignored that in favour of the bigger storyline elements and it worked out fine. I may have to give some of these jobs a shot; I did think I was advancing quickly. I actually did give some mage skill to my priest but that was my only character which was very diversified.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did decide to play through A4 once again.  My guys just got to that area at levels 9-10ish, so take that fwiw (didn't complete everything between Ft Monastery & there but most...).  For the battle in Motrax's Cave, recruit the golem in the other area 'after clearing out the drake & the turrets over by the boss' (so it doesn't get hurt).  Wait around for the golem to catch up.  Buff everyone.  the pylons are going to continually heal the Vahnatai so taking them out first is critical (above 'stand out of range & ice spray' won't work too well it turns out).  acid spray & fireballs took each out in 2-3 turns (hopefully the golem will have run into the room to be a very effective meat shield).  Once they're gone, more acid on the Vahatai (to stack with the poison from the pylons) and the usual fireball/smite thumping took care of him in about 5 rounds (acid need reapplied a time or three just to keep the damage up).  Overall, not 'that' bad/hard a fight (on normal) as long as the pylons get taken out first.


Start the fight at full energy levels (go back to town (before waking up the golem) or energy potions.

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  • 3 weeks later...

To add some detail for those playing this looking for information on this topic, I have done a few quest related things in Dharmon and as for the main storyline I need to go to Fort Remote after talking to the king. my levels are 16, 14, 16 and 16 so I may be just squeaking by most of these quests. I took some time to do a ton of side quests in the eastern gallery before this.

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