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A return to shaping[G5]


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Yep. I had the same situation with cryodrayks in Travald's crypt. True, their melee is not as strong as their ranged attacks, but their bite is nasty enough to be of help with cold-resistant ghosts. It's certainly better than using their range, only to get a 1-point hit. smile

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  • 1 month later...

I have a question or two.

 

I'm just at level 19/20 I think and am using plated clawbugs, plated artilla and a corrupted thahd if i need one. I sort of sneaked my way into the secret lab (nowhere near that in story I think?) and learned create battle alpha. Is there a reason to use an alpha instead of a plated clawbug? There is a 50hp or so difference, but the clawbug has 10ap and can attack twice in one turn, and damage is about same. So should I just stick with the bugs or use alphas?

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DV seemed to do just fine with clawbugs and they have the advantages of 2 attacks per round once they melee and I think better resistance to poison. Plus they are cheaper in essence cost so you should be able to have more.

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I prefer clawbugs to battle alphas, but I mixed my battle shaping with fire shaping and got far more use out of drayks than battle alphas.

 

—Alorael, who also likes mixing plated and regular clawbugs. Poison is good to get on your enemies, but two attacks and more health for the front line makes for excellent protection for squishier bugs.

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I dunno how you guys are having such an easy time with shaping. I'm level 21 now and it seems like i'm hitting a brick wall. Killing an Unbound would be very difficult. Even their melee does 200 damage, and they get 2 hits a turn with 3000 HP makes them really tough to crack. And god forbid you get pushed to range attack and they start throwing 600 damage range attacks at you, 2 per turn of course.

 

The stoneworks is pretty damn difficult, i have to keep spamming group heal or else my that AOE trap kills me.

 

I've been using 7 plated clawbugs with 0 int.

 

Maybe i'm missing something, i dunno.

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Unbound are supposed to be extremely difficult at that point in the game. That's why everyone warns you to avoid them. Come back when you have Wingbolts.

 

In the trap room in the Stoneworks, you're supposed to rotate around the various levers in the room and operate them so that things don't explode and monsters don't get released. I think there's a minimum Mechanics requirement to do this, though.

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See, i've kinda skipped mechanics. I was planning on leveling more but it seemed to have hit a brickwall on all sides. Hm. Maybe that region with endlessly spawning slugs can be run with clawbugs since they are immune to poison/acid? I dunno.

 

But on the west side, i had nodye pass which is blocked to me, can't even do the quest there because you require mechanics.

There's that place below where an unbound comes after you if you go too far. He slaughters the entire castle there if i ignore him. And those assault podlings rape me.

 

On the south is stoneworks, which i'll try again with more mechanics.

 

On the east same situation. Something which rapes me.

 

Where do i get higher tier battle creations?

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The clawbugs aren't immune. I don't think the slugs are either. Resistance is more likely.

 

The Stoneworks is probably where you're supposed to go. It has a sudden jump in difficulty that isn't made better by the fact that your only alternative involves Lerman's Pass and then a bunch of podlings.

 

—Alorael, who would advise trying to Stoneworks over and over until it finally works. He doesn't think you actually need mechanics if you have Living Tools.

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Stoneworks requires some mechanics and leadership to make it easier, but there is a tinker's item in a room to help out.

 

Beta testers tend to put plenty in mechanics and leadership because they just have to see what's behind locked doors and trapped chests. So Jeff assumes that regular players will put the skill points into combat skills and balance it out.

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A little trick with that annoying room in the stoneworks: When you get in, just go into combat mode and then go back and forth from the levers and controls. I n a little while, you get out of the room with out the machine turning on, and hopefully without the roamers coming. If the roamers do come out, you can still attack them, but make your creations deal with most of them. If they do or do not come out, just pay attention the the levers and controls.

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Oh i didn't notice that it gives you warning of what control to hit. Then you gotta hit it fast before the thing explodes.

 

Oh god now the Dark golem and that other dude are crazy tough. AOE acid attacks :////

 

And i solved it by simply putting the difficulty to normal. Since i was trapped down there with not enough essense pods/whatever to finish the fight.

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Originally Posted By: Thuryl
Unbound are supposed to be extremely difficult at that point in the game. That's why everyone warns you to avoid them. Come back when you have Wingbolts.


I also found the lightning status effect to be especially useful against Unbound, so bringing at least one Kyshakk along may not be a bad idea. Especially on Torment.

That said, I thought the Unbound were somewhat anticlimactic. They're pretty powerful compared to most random enemies, but they're not nearly as frightening as GF4 seemed to suggest. Granted, the Unbound in Gorash-Kel were supposed to be weaker than the average Unbound (or so says Sage Quothe, anyway), but the Okavano Unbound don't have that excuse.
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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Really good guide. I was just wondering though if the same can be said about the other shaping classes. as in if you pump a bunch of points into magic shaping will your artilas be powerful enough to carry the day. Does anyone know? Thank you for the answers.

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Moderate to intense topic necromancy. That said:

 

You only start to reach non-fragile Magic creations when you are nearing the end of the Mera-Tev. I think the first Glahhk canister is in the Storm Plains, so you can't get any halfway tough creation to keep until you are past the midpoint, and by then, you'll want Drayks from Shaper Alexie. Wingbolts and Gazers are great, but you will be well past the 2/3 mark when you get them, and they are so powerful already that what stat boosts that you can give will be negligible, at best. Stick with Battle shaping and the leveled Cryoas for the beginning is my advice.

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Yes, but the necromancy was somewhat justified.

 

It's possible to get wingbolts just after entering the storm plains. Rawal teaches you how after you give him

Click to reveal..
The Canister Tome

 

I wouldn't rely on magic creations early on. They are all decent as backup and support creations, but none of them can really do much heavy lifting.

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I was actually talking to Dantius, who said that the first Glaahk canister was in the storm plains.

 

And yeah, Glaahks are good to mix in with your clawbugs early on but once you get the storm plains, rots easily beat them.

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  • 1 year later...

Delicious Vlish, I read this and despite starting normally as fire I went battle as you suggested since I fancied a restart. the results I found were stupidly more powerful than my usual fire creation build. like 1000 times more powerful. As you say battle clawbugs kill all.. this isnt the case in the fire build not nearly so. Ive played this game quite a bit..... started over like 100 times... but can only half understand how one combat build can be so much stronger than anything else you might choose. John.

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  • 7 months later...
Quote:
The fact that my bug swarm took out Greta, her summons, and an entire village of serviles, including the annoying servile vets, who kept healing everybody and everything, says quite a bit at how much things have changed.

You are a damn liar, my friend. I took out everything in Rawal's area, completed all quests, and done Murkwood quest. That made me level 16. To make the exact same army you have on those screens took all my essense (Int at 13), and the rest of my points were in leadership and mechanics. And yet i could not get enough mechanics to reach that corruption baton you claim you had. Thats one. Having enough skill and essense to cast terror is another mismatch in your story. And finally, even on casual, Greta'n'friends wipe the floor with the plated bugs. They take two hits at most, and die from rot's acid the next round. If you say you did it on Torment, especially with no control over creations - you're either a cheater or a liar.
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Originally Posted By: karry
And yet i could not get enough mechanics to reach that corruption baton you claim you had.


Not if you ignored all other stats and concentrate on mech/leadershp only at beginning levels.

I believe the initial points given(18/15?)is enough to boost your leader/mech to 5/4 or 4/5 vice versa.

Even then I added 1 point for battle shaping.

I am trying to simulate vlish's gameplay with a sorceress as of now in my demo. Might purchase the game after completing my GF4 servile playthrough.
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Originally Posted By: karry
stuff


Um, this topic has had been dead for about 8 months.

DV is no longer on these boards.

When he was here, he was a well established and highly respected member of the community. He was also an excellent min-maxer. Being unable to mimic his results doesn't make him a liar or cheater, it just makes him very good at what he did.
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Originally Posted By: Master1
Originally Posted By: karry
stuff


Um, this topic has had been dead for about 8 months.

DV is no longer on these boards.

When he was here, he was a well established and highly respected member of the community. He was also an excellent min-maxer. Being unable to mimic his results doesn't make him a liar or cheater, it just makes him very good at what he did.


To be honest, my own gameplay doesn't support DV's claims. Plated Bugs don't come even close to having the power he claims. Perhaps he was playing on Normal.
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DV was always a little eccentric and did have something of a tendency to make overstated claims in favour of basically sound but not overwhelmingly powerful gameplay philosophies. Clawbugs in G5 are pretty good, though.

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Originally Posted By: Lilith
DV was always a little eccentric and did have something of a tendency to make overstated claims in favour of basically sound but not overwhelmingly powerful gameplay philosophies.
This. Emphasis on the "overstated claims" part. I don't doubt that he did what he said, but it may not have been quite as easy as it seemed to him, and he may have made more compromises and sacrifices along the way that were not mentioned.

As you can see from the argument about energy damage earlier in this thread, DV had a penchant for believing that there were hidden special bonuses given to whatever tactic he was currently using, and was pretty stubborn about avoiding more realistic explanations for what he saw.
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Originally Posted By: Lilith
Clawbugs in G5 are pretty good, though.

After DV put out this claim, I used clawbugs and then plated bugs on my next playthrough. I have to say, the game went much smoother than previous attempts. So while you may not be able to wipe the floor with Greta, you can still be pretty powerful early on.
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Originally Posted By: Master1
Originally Posted By: Lilith
Clawbugs in G5 are pretty good, though.

After DV put out this claim, I used clawbugs and then plated bugs on my next playthrough. I have to say, the game went much smoother than previous attempts. So while you may not be able to wipe the floor with Greta, you can still be pretty powerful early on.


Yes, I concede that for when you can obtain them, Plated Bugs are *very* good.

Of particular interest, it is quite easy to obtain plated bugs with maximum dodge on Torment difficulty. With only two points in Battle Shaping, bugs with maxed out Dexterity will allow them to evade most enemies at that point in the game (with enemies on Torment having a minimum chance to hit your creations and PC at 20%).

It's actually quite depressing, when you think about it. For a minimal investment in Essence, you obtain a fighter which does more damage, has higher hit points, and a better chance to dodge, than a well built PC warrior class. That's *humiliating*. Warrior classes really suck in Geneforge 5. At least in Avernum 5, the summons are inferior to a warrior class PC.

When I used to play, I didn't invest any points in Shaping skills. I used equipment to level them up so that I can create War Tralls, and switched back to my battle equipment afterwards. Most of my points went into Mental Magic/Spellcraft. However, I'm starting to have second thoughts. It may be worth cranking up battle shaping. Each two points will grant 6 shock tralls an extra die of damage, extra hit points, and a greater chance to dodge. That's arguably better than two points of spellcraft. Equipment such as the Projection Belt may be better than I thought, too. A stat bonus to 6 creations is better than the same bonus applied to your own character.

IMHO, Shaping was always king, if only because of strength in numbers. If anything, mental magic took a level in badass in Geneforge 5. Or more accurately, all your enemies took a level in badass. You couldn't just waste them in 2 rounds with pimped out battle magic, so you had to rely on mental magic to incapacitate them.
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Originally Posted By: Brocktree
It's actually quite depressing, when you think about it. For a minimal investment in Essence, you obtain a fighter which does more damage, has higher hit points, and a better chance to dodge, than a well built PC warrior class. That's *humiliating*. Warrior classes really suck in Geneforge 5. At least in Avernum 5, the summons are inferior to a warrior class PC.


Melee combat in Geneforge has been kind of disappointing ever since Geneforge 3, honestly. Guardians in G1 could do hilarious amounts of damage and in G2 had the advantage of being nearly invincible thanks to Parry. In later games, they can still take hits pretty well but have trouble finishing a battle quickly and efficiently without the aid of creations.

In other words, you're pretty much right about Shaping and mental magic being the order of the day. (Mental magic was always useful too: it's just that before G5, we didn't have a class like the Sorceress that could take full advantage of it and still Shape reasonably well.)
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Originally Posted By: Lilith

Melee combat in Geneforge has been kind of disappointing ever since Geneforge 3, honestly. Guardians in G1 could do hilarious amounts of damage and in G2 had the advantage of being nearly invincible thanks to Parry. In later games, they can still take hits pretty well but have trouble finishing a battle quickly and efficiently without the aid of creations.


Yes, I've tried to play through GF5 with a warrior twice, and quit in disgust once I experienced how weak they were. Parry was neutered, and the multiplier isn't great for broadswords. The only thing warrior classes have going for them is that Quick Action works quite well. That's it.

The absolute worst thing about the warrior class is that they don't have easy access to Blessing Magic, which would make them far more effective fighters!

Melee has never been the best option. Yes, Guardians did huge damage in GF1, but 7 Drayks would outdamage them any day. Geneforge 2 allowed you to parry most things, but Gazers still would wipe the floor with you.

Quote:

In other words, you're pretty much right about Shaping and mental magic being the order of the day. (Mental magic was always useful too: it's just that before G5, we didn't have a class like the Sorceress that could take full advantage of it and still Shape reasonably well.)


Mental magic was always good (dominating augmented sholai was good fun). But in GF5, lots of enemies have 1000 HP and high resistances, so you can't waste them in 2 rounds with high battle magic. You are essentially forced to resort to mental magic to survive.

Originally Posted By: Fnord

Which was strange, in G4, since there were classes with the other five arrangements of skills. I was never quite certain why that happened. Did Jeff think the sorceress skill set was too powerful? Were time constraints involved?


I remember someone saying it was due to balance issues. Although since Geneforge 5 is so hard, the small advantages a Sorceress offers over an infiltrator aren't game breaking, they are just another card in your favour to help you survive getting molested by 800hp kyshakks.
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Part of the problem with the warrior/guardian is that you need both melee and missile attacks to get through the game. Specializing in one will cause great difficulties in getting through some zones.

 

Mental magic is the best way to get through the game when dealing with swarms. There are too many places where you can't retreat to limit your attackers and you need daze and charm to deal with them unless you are using an army of creations.

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In G5, a Sorceress is more or less comparable to a Lifecrafter/Shaper. However, G5 also gives shaping some huge boons: there is so much XP available, and there are huge bonuses to Intelligence and shaping skills available early on, and some great creations are available relatively early, too. So pumping shaping skills early can actually have a lasting impact on your party. In G4 these bonuses did not exist; the max level was relatively low, rather than high, and the best creations (Wingbolts and Drayks) had relatively little time to level up. I suspect it would have made the Sorceress a more powerful option than the Lifecrafter.

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Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
In G5, a Sorceress is more or less comparable to a Lifecrafter/Shaper. However, G5 also gives shaping some huge boons: there is so much XP available, and there are huge bonuses to Intelligence and shaping skills available early on, and some great creations are available relatively early, too. So pumping shaping skills early can actually have a lasting impact on your party. In G4 these bonuses did not exist; the max level was relatively low, rather than high, and the best creations (Wingbolts and Drayks) had relatively little time to level up. I suspect it would have made the Sorceress a more powerful option than the Lifecrafter.


I don't think the Sorceress was in GF4.

I'd prefer the Sorceress in GF5 if only because of the skill point saving. You'll invest more skill points into mental magic and spellcraft than a shaping skill (for both a lifecrafter and sorceress PC), so you're better of going with sorceress for the savings.
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Yes, of course the Sorceress wasn't in G4. I was answering a question about why it wasn't.

 

In G5 you can really go either way on the skill points. The 10-cap on shaping was finally eliminated, so every skill point into battle shaping really does permanently add a level (and hence 1/2 a pt to all stats) of your War tralls.

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Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
Yes, of course the Sorceress wasn't in G4. I was answering a question about why it wasn't.

In G5 you can really go either way on the skill points. The 10-cap on shaping was finally eliminated, so every skill point into battle shaping really does permanently add a level (and hence 1/2 a pt to all stats) of your War tralls.


Either way, you will want to invest in mental magic, spellcraft, and Battle Shaping. Shapers receive a discount of one of these skills, whereas Sorceresses receive a discount on two, so you're better off with the Sorceress in the long run. Added to which, you need to invest in Blessing Magic.

As an aside, I think Jeff should have had his artist design another graphic for the game load/save screen. It would depict a warrior being approached by 7 war tralls, all with a nasty smile on their faces (no doubt eagerly anticipating the sodomy they are about to dole out). The warrior would have a 'Oh sh*t' look on his face, and his two cryoas would glance up at him with a 'What the hell are we going to do' look. That would warn you early on what to expect if you play as a warrior.
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Originally Posted By: Brocktree
Either way, you will want to invest in mental magic, spellcraft, and Battle Shaping. Shapers receive a discount of one of these skills, whereas Sorceresses receive a discount on two, so you're better off with the Sorceress in the long run. Added to which, you need to invest in Blessing Magic.

If those were the only differences, it would be a good case for the Sorceress. However, there are also differences in starting stats and in the formulas used to calculate HP, SP, and Essence.

Additionally, it is quite possible to play with hugely inflated creations instead of high scores in mental magic et al. You can get by with relatively low scores in mental magic and spellcraft, boosted by items when necessary, if your creations are big enough. The same is also true in reverse, of course, which is why both classes work well.
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It's more if you rely on creations to do damage, then you want to make them powerful as soon as possible. There are items for mental magic that you can craft for later in the game. You can't reliably use mental magic in the later part of the game.

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Originally Posted By: FnordCola
Which was strange, in G4, since there were classes with the other five arrangements of skills. I was never quite certain why that happened. Did Jeff think the sorceress skill set was too powerful?


This is exactly it, according to Jeff.

Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
In G4 these bonuses did not exist; the max level was relatively low, rather than high, and the best creations (Wingbolts and Drayks) had relatively little time to level up.


What? You can get Wingbolts halfway through the game -- pretty much about the same time that you get War Tralls in G5. There's definitely time for them to gain a significant number of levels.

Originally Posted By: Brocktree
You can use it reliably if you level it up. The ability to charm/terrify gazers is invaluable.


Seconding this. It's absolutely possible to get your Mental Magic high enough to charm anything that isn't outright immune; it just requires a very heavy investment in Mental Magic and Spellcraft, so the Sorceress is best suited to doing so.
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Absolutely not true about Wingbolts vs Tralls. You can sort of dash for Tralls in G5. You won't get them too soon, but not too late either. G4 doesn't really let you dash due to the game map structure.

 

And, as mentioned many times already, the max level in G5 is much higher than in G4, which also means there are many more levels available for creations. I think G4 wingbolts had something like 10-15 levels available. For Tralls in G5, it was more like 20-30.

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