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Slartanalysis: Leadership


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I went through every single leadership check in the scripts.

 

Leadership is a LOT more important than it was in previous Geneforges. At least, more important than we realized. Leadership is now a prerequisite for numerous quests, and most leadership-based dialogue options involve an XP reward. In Chapter 1 alone having a Leadership of 5 will earn you in the neighborhood of 1500 XP (if you get rewards at their default levels). Having 10 in Chapter 2 will earn you 3150 XP, the Tinker's Bauble, a permanent Luck bonus, and other gold and items as well. Since the experience penalty for being high level has been slightly softened, this bonus is more significant than it would have been in previous games.

 

The highest you ever NEED leadership to be is 12. There are very few of these spots, though, and they are fairly late in the game and not very important. There are other places where you can potentially get a minute benefit out of even higher leadership -- extra damage in two key plot battles late in the game, plus the few reputation checks where leadership can make up for the wrong kind of reputation.

 

In practice, it's really only important to get to 10, and that's really only important starting when you get to Moseh. (You need 10 to help him and there is a SLEW of XP and items available as a result of doing so, especially since you can then kill him and collect on that.) There is one previous encounter (at Tulami Gate) where you need 10, but that's a not very useful one with thahds. There are plenty of 10 cutoffs after him.

 

You can potentially get 6 points from items (Infiltrator Tunic, Shield, and Charm, Dhonal's Band, and +2 from Cloak of Shadows). Some of these are not available till very late, but the Infiltrator Tunic and Shield can be found before Moseh. So you can get practically all the awards with a natural Leadership of 8.

 

Specifically, I suggest this natural Leadership by this point:

 

4 -- Southforge Citadel

6 -- Therile Colony

7 -- East Checkpoint

7 -- Secured Path (with Inf Tunic)

8 -- Moseh's Bunker (but go north to get the Inf Shield first)

 

The final investment will be 18 skill points (14 for Warriors and 23 for Lifecrafters) and will pay back many times that in skill bonuses and levels gained alone, let alone items, gold, and other bonuses.

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There are a few corrections. It's Infiltrator's cloak not shield in Thorton. The infiltrator's shelter is in chapter 4.

 

Leadership 5 in Southforge Citadel when questioning Agent Miranda nets an experience bonus.

 

Leadership 6 in Chickweed Bridge for training and trading with Burkes for experience bonus.

 

You get the Tinker's bauble eventually as a reward for enough melted sand (I think about 10).

 

Great job since I wasn't planning to raise my leadership up so much in chapter 2.

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Actually, you only need 3 to get the XP bonus from Miranda. I just double checked.

 

I put Therile Colony ahead of Burkes since you are going to keep him around till you raise 5000 gold, anyway.

 

And you need 6 Leadership to get the Melted Sand quest in the first place.

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Jeff must of changed the Agent Miranda leadership from the betas since I tested it once to see about saving skill points. I checked and you are right. I don't know why I needed more in that game.

 

I always do Chickweed Bridge first so I can get augmentation especially for frail lifecrafters and infiltrators.

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All this has really driven home the need for creation-heavy characters to be very careful with skill points at the beginning. I think now it's probably best to start with as much Fire Shaping as you can get and enough Intelligence to make at least one cryoa, but I'm not sure about the proper times to get more Mechanics, Luck, and Leadership versus more cryoas.

 

—Alorael, who may have to give up fire creations in order to settle for disposable fyoras in the beginning so that the other skills can be raised early. It's no fun to be a compulsive optimizer.

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So, I tried the Slartistic Cryoa Plan™ last night and played Chapter 1. I loaded all of my initial points into Fire Shaping up to level 7, and used the rest to bump Mechanics up two in order to repair the pylon in the walkthrough.

 

In playing, I quickly realized how many places I couldn't go and things I couldn't do without more Mechanics and Leadership. You lose a big chunk of XP even in the walkthrough if you don't bump your Mechanics up a couple in order to repair the pylon. I am loathe to waste such perfectly good XP, but maybe Slarty's more purist and disciplined approach really pays off in the long run.

 

After getting enough money to quickly forge my first Cryoa, I bumped intelligence up a couple more. That and leveling up eventually gave me three Cryoa to work with about 2/3 through Chapter 1. With three blue lizards and a couple ice crystals and one melee hit if necessary by my Lifecrafter, it is doable to take out the solo Battle Betas without getting anything killed.

 

What started frustrating me was how many places I couldn't go, doors and locked or trapped boxes I couldn't open, and things I couldn't do, like the Master Thell quest and Burkes Spellcraft training. I got Leadership to 7 and Mechanics to 8 and got a lot more done and more XP and levelled up probably two or three times further than I would have without boosting those two in Chapter 1. I can't imagine getting a lot done without bumping them. What I don't know is which method is actually going to work out best in the long run.

 

With enough Leadership, you are supposed to be able to not fight Lethos at the Cairn Gates, which I always do solo before bringing the caravan party up so I can get all the XP through the kills myself. Even with Leadership 7, I didn't get any other dialog options, only a fight...which I'd want anyway, because he drops a Girdle of Insight which is the perfect belt for a green Lifecrafter. But I am curious how much XP you get if you convince him to let you through instead, and what actually happens.

 

I think I will replay Chapter One doing what Slart originally described and compare both at the end. Alo may be right about needing to boost the geek techs fairly early on to make it all work. But then again, I could have had a fourth Cryoa otherwise, I'm sure, if not five.

 

-S-

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The only time I got to avoid the fight with Lethos at Cairn Gates was sending the caravan into a fight with him and then running for the signal fire to betray the caravan. At leadership 6 he will then stand down since you helped the Shapers. You still have fights with everything else in the zone.

 

I always have mechanics at 8 (maybe 6) since this allows doing the mines in the Boiling Mudpits as soon as you cross Citadel Gates. It's easier with a servile or infiltrator since you have higher mechanics and leadership to start than a lifecrafter. If you don't mind losing 2-3 levels on your cryoa you can always use Greenfang the Artila for a few zones to do the fighting.

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OK, I just replicated the Lethos encounter as described. I wouldn't have thought to play it out in that sequence. I got like 27 XP for telling him I worked for General Crowley and he better let me pass. I got more than that and a Girdle of Insight for killing him. Seems like a no-brainer to me, as it doesn't contribute to my reputation either way either.

 

-S-

 

Brr...Seattle has just been hit by a small snowstorm followed by a deep freeze tonight. The roads are wicked treacherous. The Cryoas would be right at home.

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I seem to remember having dialogue with Lethos when I went there solo in my first game. I'm not sure, though. The XP reward is 200 at level 7 (in the scripts).

 

As for the Cryoa Plan and experience: it really depends how many Cryoa you think you will want late in the game. I did out the math for a few ways of doling out skill points. It works best to get FS to 10 first, then go for Int. At level 6 you get to 10 FS and get one Cryoa. (I made one earlier, but it hadn't gained 1000 XP by the time I got to level 6, so it got absorbed and remade.) At level 7 you get a second Cryoa. Level 9 is a third and level 10 is a fourth. However, depending on how many you plan on keeping late in the game, you can stop pumping Int and focus on other stats for a while. 2, 3 and 4 are all reasonable numbers depending on how you like Drayks. It only takes two experience levels to get a Leadership of 6, and the doors and chests you *can* come back for. Besides, there's practically no interesting loot in Chapter 1.

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There is some interesting loot in chapter 1, Mechanics 8 gives you the spidersilk robe, which is the best armor for low strength characters unless you get a thahdskin tunic to drop. Mechanics 12 gives the earliest girdle of genius (intelligence +2) but it's better to wait until chapter 2 and come back for it at the same time as the infiltrator's tunic in Dillame after getting tinker's gloves in Purity Workshop B.

 

Remember to save at least 2 creation slots for servile techs in chapter 3. Since you seem to be running low mechanics you might even want to have 3 for the traps in Northern Fens, Northern Grosch and Monarch's Realm where you can pick up an easy 700 experience disarming mines.

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So here's a question. As a Lifecrafter, which do you suppose pays off more in the long run? Having maybe 3-4 creations with you most of the time and picking up more levels through higher XP earnings or just max out with 7 creations and make most battles a cakewalk? How many levels do you lose if you have lots of creations?

 

-S-

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In a way it balances out since with a single character you start getting no experience in chapter 3 for some kills and by chapter 4 it's even worse. With several creations you will get experience through out the game, but by delaying mechanics you miss out on easy early experience. The Boiling Mudpits is just made for mechanics 6 to 8 and worth almost a level.

 

Thanks to the leadership analysis I ran a servile with 10 leadership through chapter 2 and I'm amazed at how much easy 128 point experience I missed with avoiding betraying the safehouse, the patrol thahds in West Illya Road, etc.

 

You don't need more than 2 or 3 decent creations through the first 2 chapters and being able to make the higher ones with some equipment bonuses makes up for starting them later.

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Quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:
You don't need more than 2 or 3 decent creations through the first 2 chapters and being able to make the higher ones with some equipment bonuses makes up for starting them later.
No, what makes up for starting them later is the fact that tier 4+ creations (and Drayks) are already good without being levelled up a lot. The equipment bonuses certainly make less difference than levelling up does.

I think it's reasonable to use the following plan if you go Cryoa. No matter what you do, you can't get to 10 FS until level 6 and you can't get two properly made Cryoa until level 7, so you actually have 5 skill points of wiggle room naturally. (This is done out for a Lifecrafter).

Code:
Lv  FS  Int  Ess  Cryoa  Leadership--  --  ---  ---  -----  ---------- 4   9    4   30  1      3 (2 points bought) 5   9    4   34  1      3 6  10    4   38  1      3 7  10    5   50  2      3 8  10    5   55  2      5 9  10    5   60  2      610  10    5   65  2      6, Mechanics 4
You can then spend a few levels pumping Leadership or Mechanics as needed. You can also go for Int first if you want to make a few Roamers right away -- there are a few areas full of rogues so you can get XP in battle without worrying about low lead/mech.

As noted previously, there is little shortage of money late in the game so I don't mind using living tools when I really need to open a door or chest. Most of them don't have great stuff behind them in chapter 1, though.
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Actually living tools run out late in the game depending upon how much you use them early on for easy experience. Jeff added lots more than the early betas and even with good mechanics you have to make decisions later in the game on where to use them.

 

The biggest uses are the control panels in Purity Workshop B and the Poryphra South Road control panel for the electrified fields unless you are on the Shaper side.

 

Still if you don't mind coming back later to get items out from behind locked doors you can reduce your mechanics.

 

The higher level creations are quite powerful at the minimum shaping level to create them. This means that anyone late in the game can create whatever type of help they need.

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I bought every living tool and stole all the ones that are unguarded. Believe me you can use them all up except for a few that Jeff put in the last zone so you don't need to bring anything to the last battle.

 

I forgot the pylons in the Sentinel Woods use up a living tool each for I think it was 5.

 

If you only do the combat path and not also the mechanic one then it isn't so bad for living tool use. Most players don't do both paths in a game.

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Having made it through the duel in Quessa-Uss with an effective leadership of 12, I thought I should give a practical update. It's not worth it.

 

The best uses of high leadership are to avoid betraying the Illya safehouse to Alwan if you want to keep your Rebel reputation. No more than leadership of 6 and then use the items - infiltrator's tunic and cloak for +2 to deal with Moseh where you avoid the fight. There are a few more places at the Eastern Checkpoint and Dillame Fields where leadership 7 with items will do.

 

You only reach the point where you get no experience sooner. At level 39 in Quessa-Uss I got nothing for killing drayks. With high mechanics you can deal with the experimental Unbound and get the same experience. The duel might take longer but not by much and you only get experience from winning.

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Helping Moseh requires 10 Leadership, not 8. I suggested 8 natural leadership with the +2 from items. You could skip that, but there are plenty of 10 leadership requirements after Moseh. If you care so little for the XP bonuses I'd say just skip leadership entirely, don't even bother getting to a natural 6.

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  • 1 month later...
Quote:
Originally written by Schrodinger:
I think it is Drakons. You can recruit them for the final fight, not the earlier fight against the unbound. For the Unbound testing you recruit the drayks.
Whoops.

Well, at any rate, it's still not too hard to get 12.

Quote:
Originally written by I'll Steal Your Toast:
I also think that a high leadership gives you a better ending as well.
Really? I find it surprising that Jeff would do this. Do you have any evidence?
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I'm pretty sure that Leadership does not affect the ending. This comes from peeking into G4 resource forks at the complete ending corpus.

 

The ending has three major branches, depending on what you did with the Unbound.

 

There are minor ending differences depending on:

 

- If machinery was damaged in the Shaper attack

- Power flow settings on machinery

- If Unbound specifications were given to Shapers

- Akhari Blaze lives/dies

- Greta lives/dies

- Alwan lives/dies

- Miranda lives/dies

- Litalia lives/dies

- Canister usage

- Reputation among the Shapers and Rebels

 

For the last item, it talks about things you did early in your quest. I'm not sure what exactly this is based on. My guess is it's based on which side you chose to help in the Caravan, Moseh, and Monarch quests at the end of the first three chapters. It might instead be based on the one hidden reputation score.

 

Of note is the fact that the Trakovite ending uses the Rebel scheme for this last item. So you are much better off helping the Rebels and then sabotaging them, than helping the Shapers and doing the sabotage. This probably accounts for the drastic differences in opinion as to the satisfyingness of the Trakovite ending.

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