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Shock Trooper


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Perhaps due to the severe emotional, psychological, and physiological imbalances I have that modern medicine can not correct I will play a shock trooper in G4. Perhaps because I have not played the game I do not fully cognate the masochism I am condeming myself to. Is there any hope? What are their starting stats?

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You're basically like a lifecrafter with worse magic. Since magic is a more important secondary ability than combat for shaper types, and also the hardest to boost with items, you're going to feel a bit like a second-rate lifecrafter. It's still entirely playable, but not optimal.

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You better play with a Rebel frame of mind because you will need items like mindwarp seal and agent's cloak from killing Eliza and the reward, and gloves of succor from giving Fackler the research notebooks. This will give you +1 battle magic, +4 mental magic, +1 healing craft, and +1 spellcraft. The Captain's shiv and boots will give +4 blessing magic to swap before combat. That will help raise your magic spell ability so you have a chance.

 

You probably will rely on creations for most of your fighting.

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I havent played the game, but just from projection...

The only tangible reason I could see playing a shocktrooper is to get your parry up so you don't always die when you get hit once. Granted, I do not think that trading magic for parry and some HP is a great trade... When you play a shaper type, where your creations do most of the damage, blessing magic, especially mass energize is an almost essential part of thier battle strategy.

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You'll want to get up to Mass Energize and Spin Shield in Blessing Magic, but you can probably skip the rest. You'll have good healing. So otherwise, pump Missile and Dexterity, I would say. Missiles are good now simply because thorns ramp up their damage over the course of the game so much faster than melee weapons; the fact that crystals are more precious than ever also helps a lot. Hoard crystals and use them only when needed! And forge every one you can!

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The shock trooper isn't physically a disaster, although it's no warrior or servile. The problem is the fact that its strength don't complement and certainly don't cover its weaknesses.

 

—Alorael, who really wants to try a magic/shaping class now just to see how unbalanced it is. Maybe he'll do it with heavy recourse to illicit stat adjustment and some number crunching.

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The obsession is with the Servile currently, but I'm telling you guys that the real power is found in the Infiltrator. It is easier to make effective melee and missle skills than magic, and magic is king in GF4. My Servile did not feel as potent as my Infiltrator. Try it for yourself and report your experience when you've compared.

 

-S-

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Just finished the duel in Quessa-Uss as a servile with battle magic. With leadership 12 the fight was over in about 5 rounds.

 

Need to go back and try Matala again. I got bogged down with the rotgroths. Should have charmed them instead of killing them.

 

I was able to clear Sandros Mine without creations. At the end of the fight with the Old Golem I let him suicide himself against spine shield while I just healed up,

 

Spells are way better than weapons since if you have the spell energy you can do multiple attacks with essence orbs, etc.

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Quote:
Originally written by Synergy67:
It is easier to make effective melee and missle skills than magic, and magic is king in GF4.
I agree the Infiltrator is overlooked, and not a bad class. But I take issue with the above statement. It takes significant investment in melee skills, and especially in Quick Action, if you want to have a reliable melee attack. Battle Magic is the same way. However, the importance with other spells mainly lies in getting high enough skill to cast the spells. Blessing spells increase in duration with skill but not in power, for the most part.

I'll say it agian. For the same investment in magic skills, an Infiltrator only gets 2 more per magic skill plus 2 more in Spellcraft compared to a Servile. The Servile gets larger bonuses to melee stats. The Servile gets 1/3 more HP, while the Infiltrator gets only 1/6 more Essence.
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Quote:
Originally written by Spidweb:
If you are posting about this based on your experience as a beta tester, bear in mind that I gave the shock trooper much higher starting stats only a little bit before the game shipped. I am interested to hear what happened for people who weren't in beta.

- Jeff Vogel
What I saw in one of slarty's spread sheets indicated that the shock trooper had fairly high hp, the highest essence, and strangely high energy. I would assume this (high energy) was done to support frequent healing and would guess that this was a pretty recent change.

My experiences with the other games would lead me to believe that the problem is the amount of focus you have to have to get combat effectiveness and the large effects you can get from generally small investments in magic. Once you can cast blessing and shielding they don't really get better, they just last longer. Same with speed. The battle magic definately scales well with additional points. As for mental magic I have found that when I could cast strong daze (with minimal investment) it took out half to all of my creation enemies. Combat skills, however, put me under the constant pressure to crank up 3-5 skills.

Would it help the shock trooper significantly if he started with a 1 in blessing magic (possibly with or without a decreased cost for just this magic skill)?
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Quote:
Originally written by --Slarty:
It takes significant investment in melee skills, and especially in Quick Action, if you want to have a reliable melee attack.
I've never found this actually to be the case. I can practically count on one hand the number of times any PC I've ever created seems to have missed hitting something with a melee weapon for starters. After the first few cheap boosts to Melee, I invest in Strength which is more useful all around. I get very good results with Quick Action which readily enough winds up around 8-10 for me with either build. I get double strikes frequently with a modest investment in QA. Again, I did not find the Servile to be overall more powerful in more situations for its cheaper fighting skills compared to the Infiltrator for its cheaper, earlier magic strength.

I invest very little in Endurance for any build. I don't find it significant to my playing style. Melee damage is so big eventually, a few extra points in Melee or Strength don't add up to one less swordstroke to make the kill typically. The earlier build up in magic skills and power really shows throughout the game though.

Quote:

For the same investment in magic skills, an Infiltrator only gets 2 more per magic skill plus 2 more in Spellcraft compared to a Servile.
It's the cheap magic that leaves one caught up/ahead in magic and resultingly you have more XP to invest in a bit more Strength or Meleee or QA as necessary. With Magic, ultimately, conveniently, one might want to wind up with three times nine levels in each (not to mention that Spellcraft is one of the most powerful things to be able to boost and it's very expensive to most builds. That's like 24 bumps up (not even including Spellcraft,) unless you like to rely on losing AP swapping gear around in the middle of fights every time you want to cast a certain class of spells. I do not need to make 24 bumps up in Melee/Strength/QA/Parry to make a very powerful melee fighter...much less, really, and there is lots of gear to permanently boost many of these stats, especially Strength.

In actual play, the Infiltrator was more bang for the buck. I don't care how the numbers add up technically. The extra essence and earlier cheaper magic was more helpful than being a little bit beefier with a sword early on.

-S-
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Quote:
Originally written by Synergy67:
Quote:
Originally written by --Slarty:
It takes significant investment in melee skills, and especially in Quick Action, if you want to have a reliable melee attack.
I've never found this actually to be the case. I can practically count on one hand the number of times any PC I've ever created seems to have missed hitting something with a melee weapon for starters. After the first few cheap boosts to Melee, I invest in Strength which is more useful all around. I get very good results with Quick Action which readily enough winds up around 8-10 for me with either build. I get double strikes frequently with a modest investment in QA.
Yes, you will rarely miss. That's irrelevant; you will rarely miss with ANY PC attack that you invest in. (Anyway, spells miss less often; they have higher base to-hit rates and all your investment goes into skills that boost the to-hit rate, whereas Quick Action does not boost to-hit.)

By "reliable" I am not talking about hitting every turn, I am talking about reliably doing your best damage. Quick Action of 8-10 means you will get a double strike approximately 40-50% of the time. That's not reliable at all! You absolutely need those double strikes if you want your damage (in any given turn) to meet the damage you can get out of battle magic. In a prolonged fight i.e. vs Matala, it matters how many you get overall but not on any given turn, so 50% vs 70% is not a huge difference. If you are fighting a bunch of Wingbolts, being able to take out one per turn might mean the difference between life and death. A 50/50 chance to double strike is just not gonna cut it.

Quote:
Again, I did not find the Servile to be overall more powerful in more situations for its cheaper fighting skills compared to the Infiltrator for its cheaper, earlier magic strength.
How does an Infiltrator have "earlier" magic strength, but a Servile doesn't have the same thing for combat skills? That was a completely gratuitous adjective.

Looking at effective skill differences, compared to a Servile, an Infiltrator will have about:

-4 Melee skill (str + melee weapons)
-4 Quick Action
-5 Parry
-1/4 HP

+2 Battle Magic
+2 Mental Magic
+2 Blessing Magic
+2 Spellcraft
+1/6 Essence

However, these differences are eroded for skills you only need to build up to a certain low point. If you aren't using Battle Magic to attack, then ALL the magic skills fall into that category, and Spellcraft isn't worth buying with skill points.

Quote:
Melee damage is so big eventually, a few extra points in Melee or Strength don't add up to one less swordstroke to make the kill typically. The earlier build up in magic skills and power really shows throughout the game though.
You need to explain this, because it sounds like bunk. You're right about melee damage, but the same thing certainly applies to battle magic damage, and a few extra points in blessing or mental magic are mostly useless, beyond what you need in order to get the most useful spells.

Quote:
Quote:

For the same investment in magic skills, an Infiltrator only gets 2 more per magic skill plus 2 more in Spellcraft compared to a Servile.
It's the cheap magic that leaves one caught up/ahead in magic and resultingly you have more XP to invest in a bit more Strength or Meleee or QA as necessary.
This makes NO SENSE.

You are saying that the Infiltrator's magic bonus lets it buy melee skills. But doesn't the Servile's melee bonus let it buy magic skills the same way? In terms of raw skill point cost, the bonus a Servile gets to combat is slightly bigger than the bonus an Infiltrator gets to magic. If you want both classes to get combat and magic skills, the Infiltrator is just not going to come out ahead. That's the balance of the numbers.

Quote:
With Magic, ultimately, conveniently, one might want to wind up with three times nine levels in each (not to mention that Spellcraft is one of the most powerful things to be able to boost and it's very expensive to most builds. That's like 24 bumps up (not even including Spellcraft,) unless you like to rely on losing AP swapping gear around in the middle of fights every time you want to cast a certain class of spells. I do not need to make 24 bumps up in Melee/Strength/QA/Parry to make a very powerful melee fighter...much less, really, and there is lots of gear to permanently boost many of these stats, especially Strength.
Okay, let's try this out.
Pumping the three magic stats up to 9 each will cost

16 + 20 + 16 = 52 for an Infiltrator
23 + 28 + 23 = 74 for a Servile

That's a difference of 22 skill points. Now let's look at melee stats. We'll consider an extremely minimal investment in melee stats -- enough to get each class to equal strength, a few cheap points in melee weapons -- getting it to 7, which is 4 buys for either class -- and enough to get Quick Action to 10. I still think that's a lamentably low QA, but you said it was enough, so we'll use that number.

Str + Melee + QA
00 + 06 + 16 = 22 for a Servile
08 + 10 + 34 = 52 for an Infiltrator

That's a difference of 30. The magic numbers ignored Spellcraft, in which the Infiltrator gets an effective +2, and the combat numbers ignored Parry, in which the Servile gets an effective +5.

There are also the HP and Essence differences. I don't think either of those is game-breaking, but a Servile has 10 HP for every 8 of the Infiltrator, while the Infiltrator has 7 Essence for every 6 of the Servile. The essence really won't make any difference at all unless you are making a bunch of creations -- and if you are doing that, neither battle magic nor melee weapons are going to make a huge difference to you. The HP bonus is similarly useful, but not critical, given the availability of Augmentation, Essence Armor, etc.

Also, the Servile gets an extra point in Mechanics (likely worth 5 or 6 skill points).

Quote:
I don't care how the numbers add up technically.
*facepalm*

Then why the heck are you debating how the numbers add up???

If you want to say "I enjoyed playing as an Infiltrator more. It felt more powerful to me," nobody's going to argue with you. But that's not what you've been saying.
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Magic is much more effective in combat than strong melee skills. This is my point. A number of magic spells affect/stop numerous or all opponents at once. Nothing you do with Servile Melee ability ever affects more than one target at a time. Having stronger magic earlier adds up to more versatility, respons-ability and survivability in more situations. Powerful buffing/shielding/speeding are what make battles so successful to my experience, not how much damage you can do with a sword.

 

It's all rather mute. With a little practice and familiarity, the game is really too easy with at least three out of the five builds. Super-exacting methodology really doesn't make that much difference.

 

Once again, I AM saying that experientially, the Infiltrator worked better all around AND was more fun. And I'd like to hear from others in time who have tried both.

 

-S-

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Synergy, I am not saying your experience is invalid. But just as the numbers are no good detached from the game, the reverse is true; you need to look at how your experience intersects with the class advantages and disadvantages.

 

Nobody is questioning that magic is more important than melee. But as Penumbral Thahd pointed out, and as you acknowledged in your suggestion of 9s across the board in magic, the important thing is just getting to the point that you can cast the spells.

 

Infiltrators DO NOT get magic earlier than Serviles. They start with the same skill in BM/MM/BM, the Servile just has to pay 1 more skill point per level. So there is WAY more than enough time for the Servile to accrue the required skill before the spells become available.

 

Blessing magic IS NOT more powerful with a higher skill level. It just lasts a little longer. (If this were not the case, then Blessing Magic and Spellcraft would be by far the most valuable skills and Infiltrators might well be the best class. It's not the case.)

 

You are saying that magic is better, therefore the Infiltrator is better. The problem is that the Infiltrator really isn't any better at magic.

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Let me put it this way. Being a Servile gives you cheap:

 

Melee (not very useful after the first couple levels and a skill that affects one target at a time only.)

 

Missles (even less necessary and useful. I never put more than 4-6 points into Missles. Strength is more useful to improve.)

 

Quick Action. Worth building up to around 8. But you can still only kill one thing so many times in one turn.

 

Parry. Magic defensiveness is much more effective.

 

Bonus level of mechanics is nice, but it starts out pretty cheap for everyone anyway.

 

I don't find the edge the Servile has in the above four combat skills as useful and powerful overall in various combat situations as having cheap magic which does want to ramp up fully in three categories ASAP. (Getting three categories to 9 is not an insignificant investment. I don't find it nearly as useful to bring Melee/Missle/QA/Parry all to 9.) I can make a powerful melee fighter out of an Infiltrator no problem with less than 9 Melee or Missle or Parry, but the extra essence and cheap magic ability of the Infiltrator is a big payoff....moreso than the lamer Servile one attack at a time stats help...in my experience, and in my opinion.

 

I'm not saying the Servile isn't very potent or fun or that others won't find it preferable for their gaming style. It works fine. I love melee and I love going solo, and I still found the Infiltrator worked most effectively all around.

 

And having lost lasting spells is a payoff. It means less expenditure of essence and more left for healing, etc. as necessary...or for maintaining creations for where they are necessary. Having longer lasting Mass Energize can be very useful.

 

Shrug.

 

-S-

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Synergy, you respond to everything I say by making the same assertions. So, let's make this simple.

 

If you never ever want to use melee (and don't care about your HP), obviously the Infiltrator is better.

 

If you never ever want to use magic (and don't care about your essence), obviously the Servile is better. Obviously, this is also extremely foolish.

 

If you want to use melee and magic, the two classes will both function fine. The Servile will do this in fewer skill points, however.

 

...

 

If you are going to keep asserting this "speed of gaining magic" advantage you claim the Infiltrator has, please address my point from the last post. It doesn't exist.

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You'd think this was a political debate. Seriously man, lighten up.

 

I made the point that I want to have more magic investment than battle investment to make the ultimately most powerful melee/magician combination. Cheaper magic which is 24 level ups leaves me more points to throw around at battle skills and everything else than saving points on less-useful battle skills leaves one for 24 more expensive magic level ups.

 

What's hard to get about this point? Having more Melee, Missle, and Parry cheaply does not give nearly the advantage of having all three magic classes more cheaply.

 

-S-

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Quote:
Originally written by Synergy67:
(Getting three categories to 9 is not an insignificant investment. I don't find it nearly as useful to bring Melee/Missle/QA/Parry all to 9.) I can make a powerful melee fighter out of an Infiltrator no problem with less than 9 Melee or Missle or Parry, but the extra essence and cheap magic ability of the Infiltrator is a big payoff....
What the heck? Have you listened to anything I've said?

We can be more precise than saying getting three categories to 9 is significant. It's a difference of 22 skill points.

In my comparison, I suggested FAR less than getting to 9 in melee, missile, and parry. I actually suggested getting to 4 in strength, 7 in melee, 0 in missile, and 0 in parry.

You keep assering "cheap magic ability" even though the difference is not that huge. And you are again asserting the essence is a "big payoff" without responding to what I said about the extra essence earlier.

Making unexplained assertions while refusing to address what the other person says is not debating, it's trolling.
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Quote:
Originally written by Slartel Runeaxe:
In my comparison, I suggested FAR less than getting to 9 in melee, missile, and parry. I actually suggested getting to 4 in strength, 7 in melee, 0 in missile, and 0 in parry.
You just made my point. With the Servile, you select making battle skills your cheapest investment, and then don't capitalize on that advantage much at all. What a waste of the Servile's discount advantage. Magic wants the most investment, and with magic cheapest, you get the most efficient use of skill point cost. Being able to build up three categories of magic fully more cheaply than any other build, and then using the saved skill points to build 7 in melee makes much more sense than using your cheapest SP use on 7 melee only and paying for more expensive spells in two or three categories up to 9.

Here's the picture as the experience. As an Infiltrator, you start out with more and better magic ability and can easily focus on all three categories to keep up with spells becoming available. Your spells are also more powerful where applicable. It is useful to have Daze alone work better earlier. Very useful. There are times when Battle Magic is very useful when you can't or don't want to run up for melee and a missle isn't very effective.

Meanwhile, early in the game, it is ideal for any PC to rapidly ramp up Mechanics to 6 or 8 and Leadership to 6. This makes the majority of the SP early on going into these categories to keep up if you want to play the game most aptly sequentially. This makes it hard as a Servile to keep up in magic since the cheap skill points are only going into the melee ability. Everything else is more expensive and progresses slower and lags.

Meanwhile, with cheap magic in all three categories, the Infiltrator finds a couple levels of melee and some occasional ramping up of strength are plenty adequate to make her an effective fighter and keep up with all the magic and all the geek techs. The Infiltrator really only needs to spend medium expense skill points for a little melee and quick action and then can leave it alone most the rest of the game with some occasional boosts to quick action now and again if desired. My Infiltrator kicked ass in magic and in melee and had the essence to have a couple powerful creations at the end. My Servile could not boast the same magic ability nor creations capacity and the cheaper melee/battle ability did not compensate for more expensive magic.

The Servile is always going to be scrambling till nearly the end of the game to keep up with magic at the same pace, and may well sacrifice a whole category of magic like Battle Magic to do it. The Infiltrator gets the best of magic which is most important and plenty good of melee which is easy to do for any build. Heck, it was easy to make a Lifecrafter competent with a sword later on in the game with some gear alone.

I'm ignoring the points of your argument because you are ignoring the simple point of mine, that there is more magic than battle skills you will want to buy in the game, and having cheaper magic is more cost effective than having cheaper battle ability, period. It means more SP left over ultimately to spend on everything else than being a Servile having four cheap skills, two or three of which never get capitalized upon.

I stand by my contention. I just experienced it. And the Servile was the second, more optimized experience of the two for me, and it still lacked the overall effectiveness of my less optimized Infiltrator build and experience. Having cheap magic is a greater advantage than having cheap anything else for being most capable in most situations. Bottom line.

-S-
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It occurs to me that if you want to do the numbers, it might be useful for Synergy to post the endgame stats of his Infiltrator and Slar to work out how many skill points it'd take to make a Servile with equivalent skills. If it turns out that the Servile can in fact get the same skill profile at lower cost, well, that sort of settles the debate right there.

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That could be done. I'd have to dredge up my save file and reinstall the game, though, and it hardly seems worth the bother for what seems so intuitive and obvious to me. 16-24 magic level ups and 7 melee level ups are in consideration for each build, which wants to be powerful in both magic and melee. One build does magic cheaper and one does melee cheaper. Which is more cost-effective overall? Isn't this glaring?

 

It's also not as simple as final tallies. One has to consider the full arc of the game, how strong, competent, and capable you are at each stage, and also where those points come from. Having more and stronger magic sooner in the arc of the game is not readily quantifiable, but experientially makes a significant difference and I contend is more of an advantage than having stronger melee early.

 

You get more free boosts to Strength and melee related skills than magic overall, both from canisters and gear, I'd say. I don't know about other people, but game strategy which relies on endless swapping of gloves and boots in every battle to be able to cast the appropriate magic at the appropriate moment, well, kind of sucks, and detracts from one's sense of potency and capability. I didn't have to do that at all with the Infiltrator who wore some great battle and strength-boosting gear and was therefore affordably able to become quite strong and potent with a sword and armor-capacity as well.

 

The experience through the arc of the game was having more at my disposal at each stage to have more options for dealing with situations as an Infiltrator than a Servile. This would be a lot of work to quantify mathematically somehow, but I've played through the game enough times to simply feel the difference cheap/strong magic over anything else makes ultimately.

 

-S-

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Quote:
Originally written by Synergy67:
Quote:
Originally written by Slartel Runeaxe:
In my comparison, I suggested FAR less than getting to 9 in melee, missile, and parry. I actually suggested getting to 4 in strength, 7 in melee, 0 in missile, and 0 in parry.
You just made my point. With the Servile, you select making battle skills your cheapest investment, and then don't capitalize on that advantage much at all. What a waste of the Servile's discount advantage. Magic wants the most investment, and with magic cheapest, you get the most efficient use of skill point cost.
Except that you don't. We neglected to mention Quick Action in the above comparison, which is obviously essential to melee. My comparison was meant to be conservative, as I said; a more generous investment in melee skills would obviously favor the Servile more. But even with that minimal investment, if you want both melee and magic skills, the Servile was better by the numbers.

You are right that I don't feel the need to use the most discounted category as much as possible. I feel the need to use the best category as much as possible. And you are right that magic deserves more attention than melee for almost any character, including the Servile build we are discussing.

That does NOT automatically mean you're better off getting the magic discount. If you could take the Servile's starting stats with the Infiltrator's skill costs, there's no question that would be even better. But the Servile's starting stats (combined with the melee discount) end up making more of a difference in terms of skill points than the Infiltrator's magic discount.

Quote:
Here's the picture as the experience. As an Infiltrator, you start out with more and better magic ability...
You DO NOT start out with more and better magic ability. Well, the Infiltrator gets one point in Spellcraft, and one in Mental Magic, so it's minutely better. But getting up to 5 points in a category costs about 7 for a Servile vs about 4 for an Infiltrator. That's hardly prohibitive for a Servile. You start with 15 skill points and will be at level 4 or 5 before you even have the chance to buy any spells that need skill boosting. The spells in Illya don't require very high magic stats either, so you're likely to hit level 15 or 20 before you *require* higher magic stats. The Servile might well boost ahead of time, anyway.

Quote:
It is useful to have Daze alone work better earlier. Very useful. There are times when Battle Magic is very useful when you can't or don't want to run up for melee and a missle isn't very effective.
This is all true. However, there's no reason a Servile can't do this practically as well as an Infiltrator.

Actually, the last part isn't true. Missile weapons almost exclusively use the exact same attack abilities as spells do. Icy Spray isn't going to work if an Icy Crystal doesn't, and so on.

Quote:
Meanwhile, early in the game, it is ideal for any PC to rapidly ramp up Mechanics to 6 or 8 and Leadership to 6. This makes the majority of the SP early on going into these categories to keep up if you want to play the game most aptly sequentially. This makes it hard as a Servile to keep up in magic since the cheap skill points are only going into the melee ability. Everything else is more expensive and progresses slower and lags.

This is patently false.

First of all, a Servile doesn't need to pump melee abilities at all early on. You can, but you don't need to.

Second, it will cost a Servile about 10 and 14 respectively to get 6 Leadership and 8 Mechanics. You can get that by level 3. That leaves you with about 30 skill points to use on magic skills, just within Illya Province!

The lag in magic skill does not really increase. It is fairly constant. Although the Servile has to pay an extra point every buy, the buys get more expensive for both classes. So the Servile will pretty much always be 2 points behind in any magic skill given the same investment. For Spellcraft it is about 1 point behind since it starts out more expensive for both, but the Infiltrator also gets the bonus point of Spellcraft.

Quote:
My Servile could not boast the same magic ability nor creations capacity and the cheaper melee/battle ability did not compensate for more expensive magic.
I believe you 100%. I also believe that you did not use skill points to the same ends for these two characters.

Quote:
I'm ignoring the points of your argument because you are ignoring the simple point of mine, that there is more magic than battle skills you will want to buy in the game, and having cheaper magic is more cost effective than having cheaper battle ability, period.
No, I have acknowledged this point from the beginning! Of COURSE magic is more powerful and more important! But that does not automatically make the magic discount the most critical thing. This is why you DO have to do the numbers out.

Therefore, I think Thuryl's idea is a good one. Post your stats. Let's have a duel with statistics. ~_~
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Quote:
Originally written by Synergy67:
it hardly seems worth the bother for what seems so intuitive and obvious to me.
If it doesn't seem worth the bother to prove your point -- particularly when most of that bother falls on somebody else who has to do all the math -- why the heck are you debating this? What's the good in asserting something if you aren't willing to back it up? As Hume said:

"Commit it then to the flames: For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion."

Quote:
16-24 magic level ups and 7 melee level ups are in consideration for each build, which wants to be powerful in both magic and melee. One build does magic cheaper and one does melee cheaper. Which is more cost-effective overall? Isn't this glaring?
What matters more, how many skill points it takes or how many times you have to push the + button? This is glaring propaganda.

Incidentally, there are 21-22 magic level ups and 11-15 melee level ups at stake, if we are going by the earlier comparison.

Quote:
It's also not as simple as final tallies. One has to consider the full arc of the game, how strong, competent, and capable you are at each stage, and also where those points come from. Having more and stronger magic sooner in the arc of the game is not readily quantifiable, but experientially makes a significant difference and I contend is more of an advantage than having stronger melee early.
I agree that you should consider the whole arc of the game, but the final tally gives a good representation of that. Again, the advantage any class has over any other class in a given skill stays close to constant for any amount of investment beyond zero.

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I don't know about other people, but game strategy which relies on endless swapping of gloves and boots in every battle to be able to cast the appropriate magic at the appropriate moment, well, kind of sucks...
That I whole-heartedly agree with.

If you're not willing to substantiate your argument with something beyond "this is how it feels to me," I don't know how you expect anyone to believe it.
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I may bother to dig up my buried Infiltrator, but how are you going to quantify the experience of potency and versatility all through the game arc? How do we address my point about investing mostly in geek techs early on to keep up with Leadership and Mechanic requirements for optimal experience gain and non-retreading of otherwise cleared territory?

 

End stats don't actually speak to a lot of the actual game play stage by stage. How these stats are acquired is also important. You can buy melee/missle/quick action and parry two levels. You can't buy a level of any magic category. Gear like Gloves of Savagery and Legs of the Tyrant alone add a lot to making you a much more powerful fighter. There is not equivalent gear to boost your magic abilities on nearly the same scale, and in particular not across the board.

 

Neither the Servile nor the Infiltrator has a lot of extra points to invest in other things for most of chapter one after the geeky stuff. A servile can't really keep up in magic along with mechanics and leadership the way an infiltrator can. But an infiltrator can still kill most things in probably the same number of sword strokes as a servile in chapter one with minimal additions to melee skill, and they both will be wearing the same defensive armor. So, how's the servile at an advantage in chapter one, for starters? That's 1/5 of the game right off the bat in which the Infiltrator feels more powerful overall and kicks butt plenty fine in both skills, magical and melee. The servile, meanwhile, lags in magic ability by comparison.

 

-S-

 

EDIT: I'm going to email you a jpeg of my final stats as the sub-optimal Infiltrator I played with back in October. I will list the gear she is currently wearing to create these stats. You can look up their stats in my items list. I didn't even have the Gloves of Savagery in this game, which would have made her all the more powerful for melee.

 

Essence-Infused Cape

Drakonian Plate

Girdle of Succor

Puresteel Soulblade

Forbidden Band

Stability Boots

Legs of the Tyrant

Gloves of the Hammer

Quicksilver Bulwark

Talisman of Might

 

Most of this gear is great for making strong melee and defensive ability. Good luck finding gear to give you strong defensive and magic ability.

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Quote:
Originally written by Synergy67:
I may bother to dig up my buried Infiltrator, but how are you going to quantify the experience of potency and versatility all through the game arc?
How do you want to quantify it? If you have backup saves from the middle of the game, use some of those. Or make a new character, iamweak your way to level 20, and add some items from your Synergy List. *shrug*

I have provided evidence in the form of math. You have provided rhetoric and anecdote. What you have provided sounds reasonable, but it's up to you to substantiate it.

Quote:
How do we address my point about investing mostly in geek techs early on to keep up with Leadership and Mechanic requirements for optimal experience gain and non-retreading of otherwise cleared territory?
I addressed that point 2 posts above. That's a pretty minor delay at best, for any character. If you disagree, quote me and explain what you disagree with.

Quote:
You can buy melee/missle/quick action and parry two levels. You can't buy a level of any magic category.

But that DOES NOT CHANGE THE NUMBERS AT ALL. All characters can buy those levels, but to reiterate, the effective difference for the same investment in skill points remains relatively constant regardless. (And you can buy Spellcraft, of course.)

Quote:
There is not equivalent gear to boost your magic abilities on nearly the same scale, and in particular not across the board.
You stated before that you thought 9 in each magic category was sufficient. If that's the case, it's not too expensive for Infiltrators OR Serviles and there is no *need* for such gear.

Quote:
So, how's the servile at an advantage in chapter one, for starters? That's 1/5 of the game right off the bat in which the Infiltrator feels more powerful overall and kicks butt plenty fine in both skills, magical and melee. The servile, meanwhile, lags in magic ability by comparison.
I'll give you an experiential answer here since you seem to prefer those. The extra HP and Parry skill the servile gets allows him to take more hits than the Infiltrator. Meanwhile, his magic is somewhat weaker, but he has access to all the same spells. There's not any great battle magic available yet, and even on Torment it doesn't take many points in Mental Magic to make Daze effective in chapter 1. So from my experience, he has no real disadvantages vs the Infiltrator, but is hardier and that offers a lot of flexibility in terms of how you approach combat.
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HOGWASH.

 

The servile does not need to pump melee skills. He can neglect his physical stats for the time being. First thing I did with my red wizard project was crank mechanics to twelve and leadership to 8. All of my magic skills got attention too. And spare points were put in to int for more energy.

 

The servile is every bit as good as a caster as the infiltrator. More so even, because of the turtle mage effect. Turtles may be slow, but they last a long time.

 

The servile is to strong. Way to strong.

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I have to agree with Delicious Vlish about a servile using battle magic. I didn't increase my mechanics and leadership as much at the start and I held off on increasing combat skills until after train in chapter 3 with no ill effects. I still swap some equipment to do blessing magic when I enter an area.

 

Battle magic makes a servile almost as powerful as an infiltrator. He does have a little less essence and spell energy to play with in combat so you burn through essence pods a little faster. This encourages hit and run tactics to whittle an area down in sections rather than in one trip. For the Poryphra Ruins I did a clump or two or creations each trip leaving just the shapers in the far side for last.

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Essence pods?

 

What are those?

 

I just kept casting till I ran out of energy. Then I stabbed stuff. Just because I could. And when I had energy again, I melted stuff with acid, froze it with ice, and burned it in to cinders. I don't need to hit and run with the absurd number of hit points I have. Shoot shoot shoot stab shoot shoot shoot stab.

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Well, that math was a nightmare. And all for not too much. The total skill points used were almost the same -- 213 vs 215 Inf vs Serv.

 

However, something must have changed since Synergy did his run (in the beta) as the total skill points used are 213, when he only should have had 205. Yes, we accounted for all the items AND charms AND canisters AND boosts from dialogue (like hte Dillame Luck boost). There are a few other quirks -- his mental magic is lower than it should be given the investment shown by the cost to advance in his JPG.

 

Also, there are some skills that were pumped either abnormally high, or neglected altogether, which could push the balance in either diretion. Strength was at an unnecessary 18 with items, which helps the Infiltrator's case, while Quick Action and Parry were ignored altogether, which helps the Servile's case. And Synergy didn't utilize the trainers much in this game.

 

The Infiltrator had 290 HP and 465 Essence; the Servile would have had about 400 HP and 400 Essence.

 

So... it seems the HP and Essence differences may be more significant than the skill differences after all.

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Quote:
Originally written by --Slarty:
Originally written by Synergy67:

I'll say it agian. For the same investment in magic skills, an Infiltrator only gets 2 more per magic skill plus 2 more in Spellcraft compared to a Servile. The Servile gets larger bonuses to melee stats. The Servile gets 1/3 more HP, while the Infiltrator gets only 1/6 more Essence.
Sorry, you are wrong. Servile gets 1/4 more hp and infiltrator gets 1/6 essence and spell points. Considering the amount of int you will invest compared to enduran, an infiltrator is nowhere worse.
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With no claim towards expert, I believe Synergy67 to be correct regarding the Infiltrator, My Infiltrator is currently preparing for the assault on the Shaper Monarch with a Rebel Assault team. I would certainly like more strength; but, that is slow process. Stats aside, standoff weapons and magic work best with a definite eye on strategy.

She is currently a double-agent on the Shaper side of the war.

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