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How not to suck at Geneforge 5 (minor Spoilers)[G5]


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After playing through on torment difficulty, I found that the game is a bit harder than Geneforge 4.

 

Armor covers a multitude of mistakes with character builds. Always add to strength so you can have the most armor, Start with chitin armor, chainmail vest, heavy chitin, iron breastplate, shaped breastplate, and then pick your favorite from the named armors or puresteel plate. Not taking damage or at least reducing it means less time healing and more time killing those creations that dared to bother you. Sure you're clad like a guardian when you play other classes, but being fashionable isn't great when you are dead. When you go toe to talon with an Unbound or worse, you don't want to waste your turn just healing.

 

Puresteel items usually provide more armor for less weight than shaped items.

 

Concentrate on increasing damage for the character type you are playing. Agents/infiltrators want battle magic and spellcraft, fighters (guardians, warriors, and serviles) want strength and melee weapons, and creation dependent characters want intelligence and a shaping class.

You won't be able to one shot everything, but killing it quickly allows you to move on to the next.

 

Terrain is very important to keep from being swarmed. Don't be afraid to retreat to a position where you can minimize attackers.

 

Some encounters allow you to move up and pick the opponents off one by one without having them all notice and attack you. For the other times you have two choices. Daze and then go after them one by one or use area attacks and healing to take them out as fast as possible. Some creations don't daze like golems and constructs (shades) so figure out how to deal with them before you get overwhelmed.

 

Craft artifacts as soon as possible since they all offer great bonuses.

 

Powergamers will find that you can join a faction and then switch to another faction provided you have the right reputation or haven't done something that prevents it like kill certain NPCs. This allows more experience and rewards. Some zones and areas within a zone are only available to members of a faction. Control Core B is for Alwan and Trakovite factions, Secret Access Route is only for Astoria and Ghaldring factions, and parts of Lost Dera Vault are for Taygen faction.

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Mental magic doesn't work on golems and a few others. I found that I could survive damage with enough armor for an agent to neglect mental magic. I did have spellcraft at 15 near the end so that makes up for lower mental magic.

 

You can't run a complete glass cannon, but you can get close if you are careful with swarms.

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Playing a Sorceress (kinda agenty) I found Battle Magic more useful than Mental Magic. One can do a *lot* of damage with Battle Magic, particularly when used in combination with Essence Blade and Battle Aura. Mental magic just doesn't scale up as well.

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Mental magic doesn't scale up well?

 

I beg your pardon. Charm is potentially the most powerful spell in the game, and Terror should be used at every chance you get.

 

Cast Acid Shower and then start nailing things with Terror...

 

Cripes... I shouldn't have to explain these things after all this time.

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Don't get me wrong. I loved using Mental Magic in GF4, and I started my Sorceress using it, but it wasn't working as well as just blasting my opponents to pieces, so except for a few special cases where Mental Magic really comes in handy I just blast away at my opponents. Maybe Essence Blade is a bit too powerful.

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This is probably a Normal vs Torment issue. Charm scales up when difficulty scales up, whereas it is the reverse for high-powered attack spells, which are more useful when they kill things in 1-2 turns than in 5-6.

 

I have sworn off Torment! I am playing this game on Normal, even if it doesn't kill me.

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When enemies begin shaping swarms of creations, I find it is most useful to douse them in acid, and then charm them. The very moment you have Charm, you can start taking on the really tough enemies, like the hidden lab under the lake with the shredbugs. Just go in there, douse the serviles and the summons with acid, charm them, and let them fight Mr. Nasty. When the big dumb lizard finally kicks over, you have a few almost dead serviles and maybe a summon or two to clean up.

 

Dominate works too... But to get that to work, you really need to crank it. Charm is better, but you have to make due for a while.

 

Terror is essential for many battles. Not just for the flee effect, but also the paralysis effect. I want stuff to hold still while I pound it, and I want my toon to stay safe.

 

Also, strangely, I found Essence Shackles rather useful.

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I went with ensnaring fibers for swarms over having to individually hit them with essence shackles.

 

On torment if you pump spellcraft then you get the advantage to all spell classes and don't need more than the minimum to use charm effectively. I did it with my guardian and you know how expensive mental magic is there.

 

Too bad Jeff nerfed mass madness again, but my guardian was abusing it for the last battle to seize control of swarms of creations to send them against their makers.

 

I had trouble with terror in torment for the later part of the game. Now wand of weakness and acid shower worked well together.

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So I figure this is a reasonable place to ask for build advice. I'm using a shaping-heavy Sorceress, who's just about to reach the end of the demo.

 

I've put a couple of points into Strength so that I don't have to fool around with encumbrance management for a while, Intelligence is at 10, Battle Magic and Spellcraft are at around 5 points each and other skills are mostly being neglected for now. She's got a standing army of four Cryoas, which I'm generally treating as non-disposable, and still has plenty of essence left for magic.

 

Surviving was a bit rough early on (especially when she still had Fyoras), but a Cryoa that's gained a few levels starts to gain a lot of HP even if you never put any skill points into Endurance. My main problem is that her creations can deal much more damage with their breath weapons than she can deal with her Firebolt or Burning Spray. Is it even worth continuing to invest in Battle Magic, or should I just focus on mental/blessing magic and let my creations deal the damage? (With the changes to Haste, it seems like there may not be many turns in which she doesn't have something better to do than attacking anyway.)

 

Is it worth diversifying her army in case she runs into something that resists cold? She can make Clawbugs and Roamers right now. I've heard that battle creations have been improved over previous games.

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You've already screwed up.

 

 

You should have exactly ZERO invested in battle magic at this point. You can train for two levels right after leaving the Foundry area.

 

In short, you shouldn't add points to magic skills at all. Between trainers and items to boost it, there is really no need as your creations will be stronger than you for a long time.

 

Make clawbugs. Lots of clawbugs. They do brutal poison damage.

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Whoops. Well, the game's starting to feel pretty easy right now even on Torment, so I'm not going to start over for the sake of a couple of skill points. Good to know that I can follow my instincts and basically pump Int to the exclusion of all else as if I were making a lifecrafter in G4, at least.

 

At what point, if ever, should I start worrying about Endurance? I've been ignoring it so far, since she can still take a hit or two if she has to.

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With an army of creations and some decent armor you can add maybe a level of endurance here for those times when the AI picks on you. Otherwise you can wait another 6-8 levels. There are a few items that give you endurance, but once you get the gruesome charm you definitely want to replace the lost endurance.

 

If you start adding clawbugs and/or roamers to the mix you will be able to get through some fights where I had to have my sorceress act as the party meatshield to protect them.

 

The magic trainer cuts his prices if you do his first quest. This is a significant cost drop.

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  • 1 year later...
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As a lifecrafter, stuff that boosts creation stats is great. By the end of the game, my set-up for combat ran: Transferance suit, symbiotic cloak, demon fang talisman, shaper's boon ring, blazing gauntlets, projection belt, thirsting knife, and blasted greaves. The total of +10 Cdexterity was the most noticeable effect, as enemy hit rates went way down and my creations almost never missed. However, the total -3 to my strength meant I wasn't able to equip a shield.

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