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"Maybe this time" [NO-RELOAD THREAD]: "The Tale of TEN THOUSAND Trials"

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  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 1,167
    edited September 2018
    Heh, well, it's more a case of slaughtering the one or two adversaries who follow you outside while their pals don't follow. Admittedly the feigned retreat was a favourite tactic of the Mongols but it does look a little odd when their pals should be within call... It just feels a bit immersion breaking, though a bit more appropriate for a Blackguard like Lyran who doesn't care as much for a fair fight!
    Wise_Grimwald
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829

    Frost the Breton Mage: No-Reload Legendary Mode Run of Skyrim Redone

    Part 2

    To survive stray hits in Legendary mode in Skyrim, we need a high armor rating, and the only way to get a high armor rating without shelling out gobs of gold for training or getting hit a bunch of times and risking instant death is to grind Alteration.

    We can grind Alteration using the Detect Life spell, but we can't buy that until our Alteration skill reaches 40. The only way to get it that high without paying for expensive training is to cast armor spells in-combat.

    Luckily, there are some fights that are very safe, which will let us cast those spells without encounter massive danger. All we have to do is piss off some mudcrubs near the city of Morthal and use arrows and a summoned wolf to bring them down before they can reach us.


    I stop for a moment to grind Alchemy a little more and get it all the way to 100, which is not actually the cap in my install--skills can actually scale beyond 150 in my install. I activate the Mage Stone to increase our skill growth for Alteration (the previous bonus, the Thief Stone, helped us grind Alchemy earlier) and go back to Morthal to hassle more mudcrabs. I even rest at an inn beforehand to get the Well Rested bonus for 15% faster skill gains. Our Alteration starts climbing fast.


    Morthal is a swampy backwater, but it's also home to some very precious ingredients that can get us some very powerful potions and poisons. Swamp Fungal Pods have Restore Health and Resist Shock effects as well as the highly valuable paralysis effect; Giant Lichen can generate powerful poisons with Ravage Health; Deathbells can be mixed with Salt Piles for high-value Slow poisons; and most importantly, Canis Roots can be used for Paralysis poisons and Fortify Marksman and Fortify One-Handed potions, though the Canis Roots and Giant Lichen are both hard to spot against the gray background.


    The Canis Roots are especially important for Paralysis poisons because, unlike the Swamp Fungal Pods, they don't have a Restore Health effect--which means that, if we mix Swamp Fungal Pods with Imp Stool fungi, our resulting Paralysis poison will also heal the target.

    Healing effects aren't affected by difficulty, which means we could craft a Paralysis poison that healed the enemy for more damage than we could deal during the Paralysis effect!

    Morthal offers us a chance to both collect highly valuable ingredients as well as train Alteration. We keep hassling the mudcrabs until we can cast Oakflesh enough times to get Alteration all the way up to 40.


    I invest all level ups in Health. Having more Magicka and Stamina would be nice, but we can use potions to restore all three of those stats--the only difference is that only low Health can get us killed. If we need extra Magicka or Stamina, we can just use potions. But in an environment when a single bad hit could end the run, we can't rely on potions to keep our Health high.

    We use a Fortify Barter potion to lower store prices before purchasing the Detect Life spell tome from Tolfdir. Now all we have to do is head over to Whiterun, where there are a lot of living people to detect using Detect Life (training skills requires valid targets, and Detect Life fortunately doesn't have to be used in-combat). Detect Life gives skill experience for each detected target, so we can maximize our skill growth by resting at the inn and then standing on the nearby steps, where we can detect people from two heavily populated centers in the city.


    Whenever we run out of magicka, we just use the Wait function to restore it. Finally, I get Alteration high enough to get the third rank of the Mage Armor perk.


    Once we buy Ebonyflesh from Tolfdir, we'll have an armor spell that can give us 690 armor, which is Skyrim Redone amounts to 69% damage reduction. We can't tank, but we're less likely to instantly die.

    We can now buy some higher-end spells from Tolfdir, but spell tomes are expensive in Skyrim Redone, so we need to gather some more gold. Back to grinding Alchemy! We have some really tough poisons and powerful potions now--our Ravage Health poisons deal 290 damage over 10 seconds, our Restore Health potions heal over 130 damage, and all the Canis Roots we collected around Morthal give us a bunch of long-lasting Paralysis poisons.


    It takes more than one circuit around Skyrim to get enough gold, but we manage to afford a suite of new Alteration spells: Paralyze will disable a target for 3 seconds; Deep Storage gives us an infinitely large container to stash stuff in wherever we go; and Spell Twine lets us bind some minor effects to three spells of our choice.

    Spell Twine has some interesting options. If we bind a "Flow" effect to a cheap Sparks spell, we can get a 20% reduction in all spell costs for a few seconds just by briefly casting Sparks. We can also get a few seconds of immunity to fall damage--although, unfortunately, we can't cast spells in midair, so if we start falling off a cliff, we only have a fraction of a second to cast that spell and protect ourselves from fall damage. The other options aren't quite as interesting.


    With 69% damage reduction, Alchemy over 120, a perk that lets our poisons last for multiple hits, and a hoard of potions and poisons so large it almost breaks our carrying capacity, we are ready to take on real fights.

    I think we're ready for Bleak Falls Barrow. First, though, we have to deal with some bandits outside. There's a trio of them by a nearby tower, so I test Frost's strength against them before we dealing with the multiple archers by the dungeon entrance. Sniping them still deals crap damage if we don't apply poisons, of course--that's Legendary mode for you.


    We can't deal enough damage to bring down the bandits quickly, so we actually spend much of the fight running away so we can summon more wolves to distract the enemy. We pick them off one at a time.


    Even then, it takes ages. Bandits are leveled, and we've gained a bunch of levels by grinding Alchemy and Alteration, which translates into extra health for bandits. One of them chases me all the way to Riverwood, and while I can hit him with Paralyze, the spell only lasts a few seconds.


    Since that's not enough time for us to get very far away or fire more than a single arrow--and since landing a hit is harder at long distances--I engage the bandit leader with a dagger, using Paralyze to lock him down.


    It's rough, but we manage to win the fight using only a few healing potions. I run out to Bleak Falls Barrow and fire arrows from afar, but the enemy here also has ranged weapons, and they hit pretty hard.


    But the more distant archers have pretty lousy aim, and our wolf can distract the nearby one, which is close enough for us to hit reliably. When we engage the enemy fighter, we lock him down with Paralyze and very slowly deal damage with our dagger, training Alteration and Light Weaponry at the same time.



    Things are a little rough, and they're going to get rougher. Our survival will depend on our potions. Problem is, I need to press the Tab button to access our potions, which requires me to move my pinky finger about an inch away from its normal place on the Shift key--or else move my whole hand so I can press Tab with my ring finger. That might not seem like much, but the pinky is a weak and clumsy finger, and moving to press Tab takes a fraction of a second and slightly messes with our movement.

    Death can come within that window, and when you combine it with my reaction time and the fact that a "finishing move" could kill me when my health is still north of 20% maximum, high-pressure and confusing situations could be dangerous. I need to make sure I don't get surrounded or overwhelmed.
    Wise_GrimwaldStummvonBordwehrSerg_BlackStriderCrevsDaak
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,261
    edited September 2018
    Mothryn, my Beserker/Thief Elf has arrived at the Nashkel mines where he charmed Galtek.
    Galtek then whittled down Greywolf's HP bringing him near to death whilst Greywolf followed Mothryn about whilst landing very few blows. :) However it was Mothryn who landed the killing blow! Very satisfying.
    Galtek helped against some kobolds as well before joining the fray against Zargos Flintblade. The two of them were quite evenly matched but Galtek was killed. However, before Zargos had time to turn to face Mothryn, Mothryn landed the killer blow! It couldn't have worked out better. :)
    Bassilus was charmed with Algernon's Cloak and he killed Zargal and Malkax. A ghoul held Bassilus and Mothryn had designs on delivering the killing blow but it was not to be. The Aerial Servant then wiped out the ghouls. Mothryn then went to collect the reward. All in all, a successful outcome. Now time for bed as Zebedee used to say.

    EDIT

    The current ankheg population has been annihilated and the gold gained by that will be used to give Mothryn better equipment: necklace of missiles, wand of sleep and the like. Perhaps a better bow as well.
    Images Below.











    EDIT
    After buying equipment went to Durlag's Tower where he was doing really well. Upstairs there were only the basilisks and ghost left. He had no intention of taking on the ghost, but had a potion of mirrored eyes and a potion of oil of speed. He used them and took on the basilisks. All but one were dead and that one was on the point of death! Then the potion of mirrored eyes ran out... VERY FRUSTRATING

    Post edited by Wise_Grimwald on
    EnuhalStummvonBordwehrAerakarCrevsDaak
  • Corey_RussellCorey_Russell Member Posts: 855
    @Wise_Grimwald said...

    ...All but one were dead and that one was on the point of death! Then the potion of mirrored eyes ran out... VERY FRUSTRATING...

    Mirror eyes only lasts 10 rounds. It's not terribly long. Even with haste, I wouldn't try to take on more than 2 basilisks with that potion. To make sure it's fully refreshed, I will wait out of sight of the basilisk after having killed two, then when it wears out, refresh with another mirror eyes potion then take on two more basilisks. You might note there are 4 basilisks at Durlag's Tower roof, and 4 mirror eyes potions at Ulgoth's Beard merchant, and both are TotSC content.

    Just for the sake of comparison, the PfP spell protects for 4 turns (40 rounds). It depends on your game speed, but normally one round is 6 seconds, which means if it's getting close to a minute might be a good idea to refresh, or withdraw, wait till it expires, refresh and re-engage.
    CrevsDaakStummvonBordwehrGrond0Wise_Grimwald
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 3,261

    @Wise_Grimwald said...

    ...All but one were dead and that one was on the point of death! Then the potion of mirrored eyes ran out... VERY FRUSTRATING...

    Mirror eyes only lasts 10 rounds. It's not terribly long. Even with haste, I wouldn't try to take on more than 2 basilisks with that potion. To make sure it's fully refreshed, I will wait out of sight of the basilisk after having killed two, then when it wears out, refresh with another mirror eyes potion then take on two more basilisks. You might note there are 4 basilisks at Durlag's Tower roof, and 4 mirror eyes potions at Ulgoth's Beard merchant, and both are TotSC content.

    Just for the sake of comparison, the PfP spell protects for 4 turns (40 rounds). It depends on your game speed, but normally one round is 6 seconds, which means if it's getting close to a minute might be a good idea to refresh, or withdraw, wait till it expires, refresh and re-engage.

    I agree. I have beaten all of them using this tactic with a pure fighter, but clearly the timing is a bit risky. Killing 3 is easy, so I should have not been greedy for points, just kill the three and grab the scimitar would have been wiser.
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,483
    Impressive work @aldain, to tackle the Cloakwood areas with such a low level party! I can't remember ever having such an inexperienced party beat those nasty Spiders, assassins, and Davaeorn!
    aldain said:

    Yeslick will be wielding Ashideena +2 and probably Buckley's Buckler to boost his saves even more (with Gauntlets of Dexterity and eventually Full Plate, his AC will be more than sufficient anyway).

    Note that CON bonuses from items do not improve shorty saves, though they do only increase HPs. Only permanent CON stat increases will improve shorty saves (upon leveling up).
    RaduzielStummvonBordwehrAerakarCrevsDaak
  • aldainaldain Member Posts: 267

    Impressive work @aldain, to tackle the Cloakwood areas with such a low level party! I can't remember ever having such an inexperienced party beat those nasty Spiders, assassins, and Davaeorn!

    aldain said:

    Yeslick will be wielding Ashideena +2 and probably Buckley's Buckler to boost his saves even more (with Gauntlets of Dexterity and eventually Full Plate, his AC will be more than sufficient anyway).

    Note that CON bonuses from items do not improve shorty saves, though they do only increase HPs. Only permanent CON stat increases will improve shorty saves (upon leveling up).
    Ah, they fixed that then? I seem to recall it worked with CON boosting items once upon a time, but that's fair. A regular shield for Yeslick it is then, the minor HP boost from Buckley's Buckler isn't worth it on its own (though Dwarven Cleric with Warhammer and Buckler looks pretty cool...).
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,038

    @StummvonBordwehr, and congrats to you. Nicely solo'd, well done especially at the Ducal Palace with the Nymphs. Tricky for solo runs...

    I've had some time to play being ill in the past few weeks (doing better now). A rather casual run. If I make some more progress, will post here.

    In any case nice to see the thread alive as always :)

    @Blackraven
    We are all extremely pleased to see you back. We hope to see you post something soon.

    Yours and Grond0’s runs in BG1 have modelled my own runs, so you are missed (off course glad to see Grond0 still alive). I sincerly hope you will take on SoD as well in a new run. I am sure you will do great - and you C/T charnames will surely do great.

    The thread is alive - but the characters seem to have the indecency of dying, so no changes in all.

    I have learnt the difficulty of the ducal palace fight the hard way. So I summoned 5 nymphs, Ramizath (picking the RoP +2 from his corpse), the sorcerer barmaid, two rogue types from the bar and the priest of helm. Just to even the odds a bit... It is borderline cheating, but the fight is too tricky for me if I dont.

    Btw the latest patch has given Llia a brain, and she now cast mirror image and such - so in all the fight is a bit easier.
    BlackravenWise_GrimwaldGrond0CrevsDaak
  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 1,091
    I've got a question about no reload runs - how do you deal with the deck of many things? Do you just forget about it?

    It's a shame one can't reload for that particular instance ahah
  • EnuhalEnuhal Member Posts: 609
    I never use it, but if I recall correctly there are ways to make yourself immune against pretty much all of its negative effects before giving it a try. Someone might be able to dig up the post where all of these are summarized (not sure which thread this was in, but I distinctly remember it - it included multiple uses of different Spell Immunities).
    StummvonBordwehrWise_GrimwaldCrevsDaak
  • Corey_RussellCorey_Russell Member Posts: 855
    RE: Deck of many things and no-reload runs

    As Enuhal has mentioned, if you intend to try the Deck of many things, you need to protect yourself from all the bad effects best you can. I can say a number of runs have ended to that deck - the bhaalspawn in those runs just couldn't resist trying their luck, and as Thalantyr would say, their luck ran out...
    Wise_GrimwaldCrevsDaak
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    Personally, I don't bother even getting that far in Watcher's Keep. The first level is doable in SCS if you have some reasonably high levels and the right kind of preparation, and the second level is a little easier overall, but the third level is very dangerous, especially for magic-heavy parties like those I run. There are lots of very sturdy demons with nonmagical disablers, and the anti-magic areas take away all your defenses. For characters without undispellable immunities or rock-solid saves, it's a very unsafe environment, and the rewards aren't worth the risk--the items you get from the areas below the second level don't decrease the risk of main quest fights enough to counter the increased risk of death in Watcher's Keep itself.

    Even in ToB, I generally don't bother with level 3 and below, since the main game already has plenty of resources to pave the way to Melissan.
    Corey_RussellWise_GrimwaldStummvonBordwehrCrevsDaak
  • Corey_RussellCorey_Russell Member Posts: 855
    @semiticgod I've never completed Watcher's Keep (only the 1st level). Is there any item in level 3 or below that a particular class might want to get in no-reload context?
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @Corey_Russell: Depending on your install options, SCS might move the Robe of Vecna to Azamantes, so a character or party who desperately needs the robe (like a solo mage) for Improved Alacrity might deem it worth the risk.

    Otherwise, the benefits are just bigger numbers. The Axe of the Unyielding, the Ravager, the Staff of the Ram, the Purifier, and the bonuses from the Machine of Lum the Mad can make party members slightly stronger, but otherwise don't open up any truly new possibilities. The Ravager is an exception: upgraded, its 10% vorpal strike chance (which, unlike the Silver Sword or Axe of the Unyielding, offers no save) could be a major game-changer for a solo run or a Legacy of Bhaal mode run.
    StummvonBordwehrWise_GrimwaldCorey_RussellCrevsDaak
  • Corey_RussellCorey_Russell Member Posts: 855
    @semiticgod sounds like you saying that in context of no-reload, level 3 or deeper in Watcher's Keep just isn't worth the risk. As you say, you can beat Melissan without the items you find below. And a great number of no-reloaders have indeed died in Watcher's Keep! It must be quite a sight, with all those no-reloader corpses lying around down there, probaly as many there as Duchal Palace...
    ZaghoulsemiticgoddessCrevsDaak
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    It's the same reason I don't fuss with the Planar Prison, at least not until the party is very high level. Both areas have some nice items, but none of them are game-changers on the scale of the Flail of Ages or Cloak of the Stars, and many of the effects of the good items can be found elsewhere (Belm can replace Kundane; the Silver Sword can replace the Ravager). I prefer to focus on only the quests I need to gain a few levels in early Chapter 2, then pick out the items I want for Spellhold and finally the endgame. Anything that increases the party's numbers but offers no new options can generally be avoided unless the fights are truly safe.
    StummvonBordwehrCorey_RussellWise_GrimwaldCrevsDaak
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 1,167
    edited September 2018
    Item Randomiser changes the calculation of what's worthwhile a little, but ultimately if you were able to beat level 3 you were probably already strong enough to reach the end of the game :). I'm usually too terrified of misclicking on the choose-your-own adventure spirit warrior challenge to bother!
    Grond0Wise_GrimwaldCrevsDaak
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