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Cryoa (and Artila) are the new Vlish


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They aren't broken the way Vlish were in G3, they aren't even overpowered, but they're very, very good.

 

I was comparing the upper level creations, looking at average damage (accounting for damage type) versus cost. Then I glanced over at the Cryoa, which I had already noticed was one of the better early creations, post-Vlish-nerfing.

 

Then I noticed that if you keep a Cryoa around the whole game, by the time you get access to Cryodrayks, the Cryoa will be nearly as powerful. Specifically, it should be at a similar level, with a weaker attack, slightly lower resistance to physical and cold damage, 400 extra energy, and of course a significantly reduced essence cost.

 

However, if you pump up the Cryoa's strength 5 or 6 times, it ends up with an attack equal to a Cryodrayk's... and it still costs about half what a Cryodrayk does! It actually ends up being a slightly better value than the Drayk, depending on what the exact numbers are.

 

I also did the numbers out for Artila, and they work out OK. Although it's even cheaper to pump Artila Strength, their attack does 1-4 per level of damage rather than 1-6, so they don't get the same return. A level 40 Artila will still only do about 60 damage a shot. As SoT noted, however, acid damage is the most consistent damage type in G4. And both Cryoas and Artilas are available at the very start of the game.

 

If you want to use them, though, you really do need to pump a shaping skill, so you have to make a choice. Either one would work, actually. Magic Shaping is more limited. Vlish and Glaahks are okay, but their damage can't hold up late in the game. Wingbolts are great. However, because Wingbolts (and Gazers) do the oft-highly resisted Magic damage, you will become reliant on the Artila. I think a team of 4 Artila and maybe 3 Wingbolts would be pretty effective, and is fairly cheap in essence. At high levels you could switch the Wingbolts out for Eyebeasts if you wanted. Alternately, since you don't have to pump Int too high, pump Mental Magic and support the critters that way.

 

I find Cryoa more exciting, probably because there are a variety of useful Fire Shaping creations. Also, Cryoa breath stuns, and ice damage is great damage unless you fight shades. (Then it sucks worse than a Battle Beta.)

 

Roamers are available for acid. They will end up with weaker attacks than the Artila would, since they are available later, and they won't be too useful in random fights, but I can think of a few where they'd be golden (golems and pylons, mainly). Drayks are a great value and will be comparable to the Cryoa, but dealing physical damage. Skipping over the expensive, lardy Kyshakks, the coup de grace is the Ur-Drakon, which does huge damage AND slows. Before adding them this team is very cheap, and even with 2 Ur-Drakons it shouldn't break 700 essence, 500 with one. Doable by the time you get them.

 

Anyway, I've just started a game with the Cryoa variant. Put all my points into Fire Shaping and made a Cryoa, once I got to 10 points went into Int. I'm at level 7 now towing two level 20 Cryoas. So far it's a piece of cake. Once I've made another few, I'll start paying attention to all those other skills. (Looking at the character info screen, seeing that Luck costs 1 and not buying it is a tremendous act of restraint on my part. :p )

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I compared my artilas I created at the start of the game with equivalent essence cost wingbolts. The strength and damage are roughly equal, but and this is the killer health in the artila will always be much lower, just a little over half even after increasing endurance. The other bonus to 4 and 5 tier creations is a resistance to mental effects like terror. Charm still works on them and Jeff made mental effects more powerful in the last few betas.

 

The other problem that makes more creations better than a few powerful ones is that most missle attacks run out of spell energy in long running hasted fights. Matala's Workshop, the Breeding Pit, Valeya Road as a pro-Rebel, and Fort Raevinn are a few that come to mind as examples.

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An Artila and Wingbolt of equal level will differ in HP by exactly 65. If yours has half the HP, then I suspect your Artila was not created as soon as possible with 10 Magic Shaping. A few levels make a big difference.

 

(That said, it seems like creations earn slightly less a proportion of your own XP than they did in G3, but I'm not sure about that. I should measure it.)

 

Also, it seems that ice breath no longer causes stunning. The line in the definitions is still there, but I guess it's an out-of-date line that G4 doesn't implement. Sigh!

 

Mental effect resistance, hrm. Running out of energy, hrm. OK, my new plan is to start making Ur-Drakons when I'm at level 3... :p

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Ur-drakons are the last creation made because the third canister is located in Northforge Warrens behind a special door that requires fulfilling the Testing quest in Northforge Citadel. If you rush to get there than you can do more areas.

 

On the other hand kyshakks can be bought for 2 levels at 2400 each in Shaper Camp Gamma and the canister for 500 from Rebel Camp Aziraph at the start of chapter 3. Wingbolts can be bought at Shaper Camp Gamma and the canister is in Derenton Freehold in chapter 4. Drayks canisters are in chapter 3.

 

Spoiler

 

Drakon canisters are in Khima-Uss (buy), Gesselin Freehold, and Northforge Warrens.

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It seems this game would be a little more fun if you got the fifth tier creations a bit sooner and/or the game went a bit longer after you do, with some truly nasty fights they are necessary for. Drakons, Ur-Drakons, and Eyebeasts are fantastically fun and satisfying to employ, but you only get to use them for a short while at the end. Ah well, I guess the game can't go on forever.

 

Meanwhile, by experience,if not by math, and as I've suggested elsewhere already, I find that making at least one Cryoa as soon as you can in the game (which is quite soon) and keeping it till nearly the end of the game is very effective and efficient. Mine was doing like 85 damage a shot with its ice breath, but I noticed that it started not hitting very reliably somewhere in Chapter Five, and I finally converted it into a drayk or drakon. I'm not sure if investing some dexterity into it would have fixed that issue, but I didn't try. Maybe you'll check into that in your current game, Slarty. Cryoas rock. I like them better than anything else except Kyshaaks, Wingbolts, and fifth tier critters.

 

-S-

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Hey Slarty, how's the Cryoa experiment coming? Still running them? I'm starting a new game as a Lifecrafter, and I'm going to do something along this line too, focusing on Fire Shaping and making some Cryoas ASAP. Did you forego Leadership and Mechanics at the beginning too? How does that work? There's so much you can't do early on without boosting them a bit at the start.

 

-S-

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Yes, I forewent them. You can do lots without them, you can do all the zones, you just can't open every door and do every quest. I'll come back and do them once I've gotten enough levels and Int to make a suitable number of Cryoa, and my Cryoa will be much stronger for it.

 

It hasn't gotten too far -- still in Chapter 1. As with G4 I'm spending all my time researching insteead of playing. Also, I work more hours now.

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Thanks for the research. I wish some of it had come earlier to spare me hours of replaying areas to see what happens when you change sides for certain quests.

 

Cryoa should be better than anything you get until chapter 3. If you get enough charms with mind effects resistance for creations you may block the terror and charm problems in the later chapters. It means you don't waste time using spells to remove effects.

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