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Divinity: Original Sin Minimal and No Reload Thread (spoilers)

13

Comments

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    It sounds like I might have a better chance to get into D:OS some day if I start with D:OS 2 first.

    Yes, I would recommend that. I plan to probably start a D:OS 2 run soon.

    A few screenshots I've promised:

    Stun-locking all the enemies in a secret ambush during the first turn.
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    Pixel-hunting 'til I find the button(s):
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    A fight against The Trife.
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    Dealing with Leandra.
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    The Void Dragon. Had to reload when lost one of my allies. On a second try, managed to get everyone saved, and got the good ending.
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    A happy ending. Love is in the air!
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    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    That void dragon looks like a cool final boss. Is it supposed to be like a constellation come to life? I see little gold spots in it that look like a constellation of a dragon.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    I'm attempting to do a party no-reload run through D:OS 2.

    Difficulty: Tactician, Honour mode

    Main char: Fane
    Finesse: 11 Wits: 13
    Scoundrel: 1 Polymorph: 1
    Skills: Backlash, Chloroform, Chicken Claw
    Civil Abilities: Persuasion 1
    Talent: Pet Pal

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    I'm RPing Fane as what the tags presume: Scholar and Mystic. The focus is not on the "edge" part but more on finding knowledge about my people.

    Party members:

    Red Prince ("it's imperative that you make your way to the Friendly Arm Inn that I should meet with a Dreamer")
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    Louse (the Mystic tag lets me understand her better than she thinks)
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    Ifan (anyone who stands up against tyranny - just as my people did aeons ago - is my friend)

    Red Prince - Fighter, Louse - Enchanter, Ifan - Ranger. Barter on Red Prince, Loremaster and Thievery on Louse (I RP thievery on her as if the creature inside her controls her during those actions, while Fane is talking to them), Lucky Charm on Ifan.

    With 1 point in Thievery, we can get 2 free books from vendors. Not all vendors, ofc, but those we can trick while they're alone. This way, we got:

    - Mosquito Swarm & Raise Bloated Corpse - for Fane (on Lvl 2 I put one point into Necromancy)
    - Tentacle Lash & Bull Horns, Battering Ram & Crippling Blow - for Red Prince (on Lvl 2 I put one point into Polymorph)
    - Blinding Radiance & Shocking Touch - for Louse
    - First Aid & Pin Down - for Ifan
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    We bought a Restoration skill book for all the money we had.

    The first fight, against Ancient Turtles: the key was to CC 2 of 3 turtles, or more, each turn.
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    We reached Lvl 3 after the fight. Thievery got the 2nd pip, which means that from those vendors whom we haven't touched yet we can now get 3 skill books.

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    @JuliusBorisov , I'll be interested to see how this turns out. I'm wondering if it's possible to no-reload D:OS2, especially on Tactician difficulty. The runs I've watched on YouTube all save scum like crazy.

    I tried turning the slider up to Classic for the fight with that witch to free the frost dragon, and she and her cronies promptly handed me my behind. I turned the slider back to Explorer, and steamrolled the same fight.

    I'm also wondering if stealing all those skill books is required to be successful in a no-reload, which would make the game very roleplay unfriendly, in my opinion. One of the first things I noticed was that without stealing skill books, the enemies in even the early fights in classic mode had far superior spells and skills to my starting ones.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    Well, when you play with only one save (and the game automatically saves when any party member dies), you have to use whatever possible to win. However, it won't mean I will savescum, - just the opposite, actually. I prefer to plan in advance and get ready.

    When I first played on Tactician, I reloaded, ofc, but didn't steal anything even once. It's much later when I started doing that, - and you can only steal once per person. The fights during levels 1-4 are definitely winnable on Tactician even without extra skills, don't worry about that.

    One factor why I'm using stealing is because not many games actually allow that. There is no stealing in P:K or PoE, so this is the game I can do that. You can steal in BG2, and get powerful artefacts that way. Not much different to this system.

    Also, one note: when you play on Tactician, roleplay friendliness is not the main factor the game provides. The main factor, in that case, is challenge. If you follow, for eg. Alesia's reports about PoE - they won't be full of roleplaying, it will be a schedule of getting/buying items, fighting correct enemies at correct timings etc. I'm not saying the challenge means no roleplaying - I'm saying that it wouldn't be correct to evaluate if the game offers roleplay friendliness when someone plays on the maximum difficulty.

    And of course, if I do or don't something, it doesn't mean others should just repeat that.

    Fane. Part 2.

    One aspect I wanted to cover is the choices for talents:

    The Pawn for Fane - it is insanely helpful for a melee rogue, letting 1 free movement each turn
    Comeback Kid for Red Prince and Ifan - this talent is very useful, often being the decisive factor between losing or winning. It's just that Fane and Louse needed to take other talents on lvl 3 for a balanced game.
    All Skilled Up for Louse - basically, for 1 civil ability: as Louse is my Loremaster and Thievery expert, I needed to take this ASAP

    The crocodile battle. In order to win it reliably, I had to split the party and move 3 characters who had ranged attacks (under sneak) above the enemies, leaving Red Prince alone below. After initial turns by Fane and Ifan (high Wits allow it) all 3 crocodiles were disabled: sleeping, being a chicken, and knocked down by an arrow.
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    The rest of the fight was spent in continued CC.

    The gloves of Teleportation open a lot of options, including getting access to a recipe of the resurrection scroll.
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    Both the Arena fight and Griff provide enemies who have Lvl 3, so we challenged them.

    The Arena battle. The key here was to disable Gedeon for as many turns as possible, with Fane reaching up to the enemy mage. Fane actually died at the end of the fight when it already didn't matter (you don't have to revive characters - after the Arena they're raised automatically).
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    You can see that Red Prince is actually a decent fellow when he's asking not to give up Stingtail. I got the Hero tag.
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    The Griff battle. The key here is go through any of the 2 defences of Griff ASAP to disable him. Rain by Louse is a good solution when Griff turns invisible. Please also note that I try not to metagame too much by putting characters to better positions when the enemies I'm going to fight are still neutral (unlike the crocodiles, for example). Butter helped me as I promised her to meet in Arx. At one point, when Louse was sleeping, Red Prince had to hit her in melee to wake her up.
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    Interesting that after the battle was won, much later, one of Griff's bandits - Waltz - returned to the spot (she had been walking around the camp) and attacked Butter. I saved my friend.
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    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    @JuliusBorisov , Wow, you're certainly off to a good start showing how a no-reload can be done, and also showing your mastery of tactics. Both the arena battle and the Griff battle were huge points of discouragement to me, but you breezed through them.

    I made it to the end of Act One on Explorer today, and I'll probably be taking a break from D:OS2 for a while to play easier games. I'm working on my paladin run of NWN2 currently.

    The intensity of strategic combat kind of wore me down over time, leaving me wanting a more relaxing crpg experience. But I'm glad that I played it enough that I can now deeply appreciate runs like yours, by better players than I am.

    Playing D:OS2 gives me a similar feeling to what I have when I go to Chess.com and play a few matches of chess. There's intense concentration, a lot of losing but learning from those losses, and the fun of studying YouTube videos from chess masters trying to get better. But, the necessity of constant intense concentration combined with the need for flashes of creative insight in chess makes it mentally fatigue me really fast to keep playing for very long. I appreciate it deeply, but it's not something I enjoy playing for hours on end.

    It is becoming apparent that it's the same for me and D:OS games, both 1 and 2. Larian's style with turn-based combat and strategy being an integral part of everything they make is what makes me think of them as creating the crp equivalent of chess games.

    Out of curiosity, are you also a chess master in addition to being a strategic rpg master? You seem to think like a chess master, and to enjoy the same states of mind that chess enthusiasts enjoy.

    I'm really looking forward to seeing if you succeed like this with the battles against the witch who imprisoned the frost dragon, and especially with the final battle of Act One. I won that final battle today on Explorer difficulty, but I felt like it was only because I happened to level up near the end, restoring all our health when things were looking very grim. :)

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    edited March 25
    That's totally ok, especially since you spent 80+ hours straight in the game. I usually play about 1-2 hours then do some work, so this way I can really focus on a certain battle without being overwhelmed.

    And yes, you're correct that it resembles a tactical game. This is probably the biggest appeal of D:OS games for me, along with the story. I get a lot of "feels good" moments when enemies go down one by one as a result of well-coordinated actions of my party members.

    I don't play Chess much, - probably should have, though. ;)

    Fane. Part 3.

    The battle against the Houndmaster always gives me a scare: I remember how during my first playthroughs I usually lost the whole party here. The main task is to disable the Houndmaster himself. It's better to do via his Magic Defense. At the start of Turn 2, Fane sends him sleeping.
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    A melee rogue is very versatile. When needed, I can take off one dagger (doesn't require any action points) and thus get access to knocking down. Will need to spend one action point later to equip the second dagger again, though. This is working wonders against enemy rangers (they usually have low physical defence).
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    However, enemies have a big advantage in this battle, so I have to spend scrolls and other items. Fane used a Blindness scroll, Ifan - a Water Balloon (on shocked enemies to make them stunned). Coupled with Louse's casts, it let me control the battlefield.
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    The variety of physical and magical abilities in the party lets me approach different enemies with different skills. Fane knocked down another enemy ranger, while Louse stunned a swordsman. Red Prince used a scroll of Electic Discharge to continue CC-ing.
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    Shortly after the fight, we reached Lvl 4, and this was when I could diversify skills even more. The key to successful surviving, to me, is having at least 2 Fortify skills (innate, not from scrolls), and 2 Armour of Frost skills in the party. Not only these spells provide extra defence, they actually cure bad statuses.

    It means Red Prince put one point into Hydrosophist, while Fane put one point into Geomancer. Hydrosophist on Red Prince will let him cast Restoration in the future. Geomancer on Fane is also useful because of Poison Dart which can both harm enemies and cure Fane.

    Much later into the game, my characters will become more specialized in certain schools, but at the start, it's very important to get multiple protection skills on several party members for cross-protection. 2 party members are using shields, which provide insane (compared to not using shields) amounts of extra protection, it's especially visible during Act 1.

    Here is an ideal, in my opinion, skill distribution for Lvl 4 in my current party:
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    As you can see, I prefer to have different attacks against both physical and magical defences, and a lot of buffing/protection skills. This will come useful in the future because you can mix certain schools, eg. Warfare and Hydrosophist provide a very handy skill (will explain later, when we get there). Ifan started as a Ranger (not Wayfarer) and came with 1 pip in Pyrokinetic, which provides Peace of Mind (a must-have buff), and later opens a way for neat combo Huntsman + Pyrokinetic skills. Polymorph provides such vital skills that I usually have it on everyone. So far, Fane has been using it for Chicken Claw, Red Prince - for Bull Horns (which give him the mobility to move around the battlefield).

    Note that I never used any build strategies or guides - this all comes as a result of experimentation and my own observations.

    (without buffs from items):
    Fane: Scoundrel 2, Polymorph 1, Necromancer 1, Geomancer 1. Finesse 14, Memory 13, Wits 13
    Red Prince: Warfare 2, Geomancer 1, Polymorph 1, Hydrosophist 1. Strength 14, Con 12, Memory 13
    Ifan: Huntsman 2, Pyrokinetic 1, Ranged 2. Finesse 14, Wits 15 (higher crit chance and search for hidden treasures)
    Louse: Aerotheurge 3, Hydrosophist 2. Int 15, Con 11 (needs it for shields), Memory 13

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    edited March 25
    @JuliusBorisov , I'd give you both insightful and like for that post if I could. I like how you are offering some teaching on how to get better at the game.

    It sounds like one of my mistakes is thinking I should concentrate on building one or two skill schools for each party member early on, instead of spreading out over several schools, and splashing single points around enough to get fortify, restoration, magic armor, and clear mind on every party member.

    I know in the witch fight, she charmed my party leader after the only person who could cast clear mind had been killed, so I was screwed.

    I tend to think like a D&D player, that each party member should have a character class, but that doesn't really work in D:OS. It seems to be more about spreading all the skills out among the four characters in combinations that allow for lots of backup on important skills; that is, it's a beginner's mistake to only have one person on the team who can use a critical spell or skill, and there are way more "critical" skills among the first ranks of each school than in D&D.

    Or at least, all that is true on any difficulty higher than "Explorer".

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    edited March 25
    Well, from what I heard, online guides will tell you exactly to focus on 2, maximum 3 skill choices. I still don't have Pyrokinetic on anyone other than Ifan, so Peace of Mind is only available from him, - but you can have scrolls in your group, and each character will be able to use them. In the Houndmaster battle, we used scrolls of Electic Discharge, even those who don't have any pips in Aerotheurge. In the Arena battle, Ifan used the scroll of Fortify on Red Prince to stop the Decay status on him.

    If someone is charmed, you can charm them back with your own grenades of charm, arrows of charm, or the charm spell (available later).

    Warfare talent Rage can also cure Charm.

    There is a talent "Walk it off" which reduces all status durations by 1 turn.

    So, there are always multiple options to deal with the same threat.

    Fane. Part 4.

    Saving Paladin Cork. One of the safest ways to do that is usually teleporting Cork inside the building and making enemies lose their favourite positions and head into the building. However, I wanted to give them a fair fight.

    So the main thing was to let Ifan knock down Captain Tripple at the start of Turn 2. (one thing I haven't mentioned - I actually like Diablo-like loot system in these games and spend time between battles checking the vendors for new items; in Fort Joy you don't get many of them, but later in the game it's my favourite hobby; still, even in Fort Joy I can buy arrows of knockdown and different rings +1 Skill between battles).

    Fane then turned Captain Tripple into a chicken, and for the next 2 turns we could focus on other magisters.
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    Fortify really helped to keep Cork alive.
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    Elemental Arrowheads, the simplest spell from Huntsman, let Ifan "charge" his arrows with magic (oil in this case) - which helped get through the magic defence of enemy swordsman.
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    Bull Horns and Battering Ram let Red Prince move through the battlefield quickly, knocking down potential threats to Cork.
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    Once Captain Tripple was finished and Louse cleared magic armour of swordsmen, the battle was basically won.
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    But not always everything goes according to the plan, I too make mistakes. The battle against undead guardians usually is either very easy or very difficult for my parties. This time, it was difficult. These folks start with such a great advantage (again, no meta play from me, we're starting below, in the water, against a cryomancer). The enemies stand higher, have better visibility and are not grouped in one place.

    Fane was finished during Turn 1. Then we revived him, and he was finished again in Turn 2. I spent 3 (!) more Resurrection scrolls on Fane during this fight - but it was worth it - since enemies focused on attacking him and thus the rest of the party slowly went through enemies' defences. Before one final resurrection, Fane actually turned the tides of this battle: chicken form and knock down.
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    How did I survive? Arrows of knockdown and the Arrow Recovery talent on Ifan.
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    A short moment of triumph for Fane.
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    All these sacrifices saved us time and finally, Louse shone (on top of her magic attacks, regeneration is not healthy for the undead).
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    So, I had to spend 5 scrolls of Resurrection in one battle. But Louse then stole 3 scrolls from Nebora and we found one in the area with frogs. I also crafted one scroll thanks to the recipe. Thus, the status quo was restored.

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    Fane. Part 5. Fort Joy cleared.

    The battle against Kniles the Flenser went much smoother. During the first turn, Kniles turned Ifan into a chicken. Fane responded similarly.
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    See that yellow-green colour on the enemy chicken? That's Acid - a great help against enemies' physical armor. It comes from the first rare item I found, Rapscalpel.
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    While all the meat golems and silents monks were closing in on our party, we finished Kniles.
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    The subsequent fight wasn't difficult - things can only go bad here if you let Kniles live and use his charming grenades.
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    You can notice new skills: indeed, everyone reached Lvl 5. Red Prince got Rage, Fane got Spread Your Wings, Ifan got Haste (this skill really shines on Fane; Ifan moves first, casts Haste on Fane; Fane gets free +1 action points during the first 2 vital rounds of every fight), and Louse got Winter Blast and Ice Fan.

    Just as with Paladin Cork, you can approach High Judge Orivand much more cautiously, waiting till enemies will reach you in another room. But I again decided to play more open and forced myself straight to the judge.
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    That said, it seemed fitting to teleport Orivand to the exact place where he tortured a poor elf. Both Ifan and Louse got higher ground bonuses against 2 swordsmen and the judge below.
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    Red Prince and Fane ruled against 2 enemy mages (Fane actually went to 0 HPs but that happens when enemies concentrate on one party member). Between numerous knockdowns, they couldn't really threat in this battle.
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    Attacking from a higher ground is so sweet. AOE effects were perfect for it (including special arrows).
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    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    Congratulations on another masterful play session. :)

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    Thanks! I'm happy to know these reports matter.

    I usually give myself an extra task of saving Gawin against 10 enemies at the Docks. It doesn't lead to anything special (no reward or extra XP), but it feels like the right thing to do. It's too bad Gawin will automatically die in the swamp. For this fight, I didn't use anything special, just careful spending of CC moves over the course of many turns (eg. Battering Ram against 4 monks to knockdown all of them).
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    After leaving Fort Joy, we reached Lvl 6. I like how the game lets you explore the potential ambush place and see the enemy from a distance.
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    Since we just hit Lvl 6 ourselves, it seemed dangerous to try and tackle the boss before reaching the Seekers camp and getting new skills. After buying a few books, we returned and opened the fight just in front of the Voidwoken Deep-Dweller.
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    I could have explored the swamp more before the fight but the thing here is that the first time I played D:OS 2 I stumbled across this ambush while still early Lvl 6, and thus I consider that a challenge to tackle the Dweller ambush that early (before the collars are removed and everyone can use the source magic and equip necklaces).

    Ifan had 6 knockdown arrows at the start of the fight. He had 0 at the end of it. These arrows allowed me to disable 2 enemy casters each turn. Fane also contributed: the enemy archer was knocked down as well.
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    Louse could freeze one of the swordsmen. The general key is to go through the defence during your turn 1 and stop the enemy not allowing him doing anything.
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    We managed to survive the first onslaught of the Dweller and went through all its Physical defence till Red Prince's second turn.
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    One enemy swordsmen reached our place, Louse could control them in close range. Of course, she at first increased her own Magic defence not to suffer from her own spells.
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    At one moment of the fight, Red Prince rolled a 1, - he became Frozen because of the cursed Ice created by the Dweller. It didn't stop us from finishing the Dweller, though.
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    Turned out, the books we bought before the fight, weren't 100% needed: I probably used only Cloak and Dagger and Medusa Head in this fight (from the new skills).

    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    edited March 31
    Fane. Part 7.

    Red Prince is very down-to-earth if you get to know him better:
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    We reached Lvl 7 after exploring the Armoury. It was time for cross-skill books. Merging Huntsman and Pyrokinetic books provides a fire trap skill. Merging Warfare and Hydrosophist books provides a healing skill.

    It was also time for collar removal and finally using the Lucky charm skill properly. With 2 items equipped (which I have to swap), Ifan now provides 5 in Lucky Charm. That's enough to find epic - purple - items, which is very Diablo-esque. Some good items are starting to arrive:
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    I rushed to the Radeka fight because, similar to the Deep-Dweller, I try to face her as soon as possible, not after getting all the items of the appropriate level. In my opinion, just like with Kniles, you have to finish the boss as quick as possible, leaving the minions. She has quite the defences, though.

    So for the first time in our battles, we postponed the 1st turns of Fane and Ifan so that Louse could teleport the witch closer.
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    We survived the initial round of minion attacks. Now, Red Prince, Fane and Ifan could disable her for the start of turn 2.
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    Arrows of knockdown (which I had 3 for this fight) and Louse's spells kept us safe while Fane and Red Prince concentrated on killing the chicken.
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    Ifan inflicted a finishing blow.
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    A conscious decision to focus so heavily on Radeka had its consequences. Fane and Louse then went down because of harsh attacks by Carrion Beatles and the Decoy effect. Ifan resisted death thanks to his talent.
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    But I didn't panic. Ifan turned invisible thanks to Chameleon Cloak, while Red Prince postponed his turn to raise Fane. Note how Medusa's Head kept one of the beatles petrified just because the lizard stayed close.
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    Once Fane re-entered the fight, it was basically over for the enemies.
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    Also, a special dialogue for Fane explaining his story:

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    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    @JuliusBorisov , Congratulations on the Radeska fight. I like your sharing some of the character dialogues, too, since you're using characters I didn't use.

    How are you getting enemy armors down so quickly so you can CC? You keep mentioning that you get strong enemies controlled almost immediately in the fights.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    edited March 31
    Fane has Finesse 20 and Wits 14 (with items), Scoundrel 5, Crit Chance 9%, Damage 30-36.
    Backstab is a 100% chance to crit (so the damage is doubled).

    Ifan has Finesse 19 and Wits 16, Ranged 4, Crit Chance 20% (!), Damage 41-46
    When you use the higher ground, you inflict more damage (Huntsman 4 = +20% damage).

    I make sure Fane has the highest initiative in my group, followed by Ifan (I have to put +Initiative gear on Fane because his Wits is lower than Ifan's Wits).

    Fane has the Adrenaline skill (which allows him +2 bonus action points during the turn (he gets -2 action points the next turn).

    Haste cast by Ifan can give Fane another +1 action point for 2 turns.

    I also specialized Louse into magic damage dealer:

    Intelligence 19, Hydrosophist and Aerotheurge both 6.

    So her Winterblast does 46-51 water damage, followed by 38-42 air damage from Electric Discharge. It's usually enough to block a minor enemy, or several of them if they stand next to each other.

    Red Prince can use Tentacle Lash for 53-59 physical damage, or Medusa Head for ~35 magic damage. Red prince also can throw Bouncing Shield (which scales on the shield level - so make sure to always use the shield with the biggest physical armor).

    Fane can Poison Dart for 25-27 poison damage, Chlorophorm for 33-36 magic damage if I need more magic damage than physical damage during the first turn. Ifan can use elemental arrows (poison, fire, shocking, etc) if I need to add magic damage.

    Teleport by Louse inflicts physical damage when you use it.

    Piece of Mind and different food can provide +Str/Dex (and in the future +Int) boosts. Encourage (which 2 of my characters have) also does that.

    As you can see, Radeka has 171 physical defence and 245 magic defence. I figured I should go through physical here (because 171 is lower than 245).

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    I think my love of roleplaying lawful good is where I get into trouble with this game. See, most of what you just described strikes me as kind of evil - poison, backstabbing, etc. Also, you stole a lot of the skill books you used to get all those abilities. I have a feeling if I were watching this run as a Let's Play video, I'd be shaking my head, clucking my tongue, and thinking "evil, evil, evil." "Chaotic", at best.

    Also, your means to success (and in fairness, everyone's who succeeds at the game on tactician difficulty), seems really power-gamey to me.

    And it seems like all my least favorite skill schools - Rogue, Necromancy, and Polymorph - are absolutely required or your party will be defeated often.

    I think it was you who pointed out the counterpoint that roleplaying isn't really the point on tactician difficulty, though. A person selects that difficulty when they *want* to have their powergaming and strategic skill tested.

    I really respect your success so far, just as when you publish a BG no-reload. I'm still rooting for you. :)

    However, the game reflects a design philosophy that worries me that BG3 will have exactly this same tone. Evil is rewarded, stealing is rewarded, dark and edgy are rewarded, being good, especially lawful good, is punished.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    Now you're challenging me to try a completely different approach the next time I play it. :wink:

    It was very hard for me to roleplay evil in BG, but that was a useful experience because I started to question every spell: whether it's evil or not. The consensus in that thread was that not only poison or similar spells can be evil: fire can be evil, lightning can be evil, - it's the intent behind the spell use that matters.

    Rogues can be neutral in D&D. Backstabbing is just my favourite style of combat, I like F/T in BG, I like Scoundrel skills in D:OS. Necromancy is only on Fane at the moment, and only for 3 skills (so far) - it's quite fitting an undead, don't you think? :wink:

    Polymorph - I didn't think the abilities to get bull horns or a medusa head, or wings were evil, but probably they're close to evil than to good in the alignment spectre.

    The skills I use are dictated by the decision to play Tactician, and play with this party approach. I could go without a backstabber, for example, and pick a summoner instead. Etc.

    If you look at BG, being lawful good will be punished just in the same way: you'll miss on tons of items. The whole picking locks/looting houses aspect won't be available. Again, it all comes down to the question whether you consider (I know YOU do) stealing evil. I think Imoen and Safana can perfectly steal and not feel evil at all.

    Btw, what should I do once (I hope) I finish Act 1 not to spoil you? I spoilt you about D:OS 1 but you didn't like that game.

    I'm playing right now as Fane, one of the only few "eternal" left in the world. I'm undead and lost everything, I want knowledge. I think I should use what I can to solve issues. It doesn't mean I kill magisters on the first sight. I saved a paladin. I saved a magister who was being tortured. I killed Griff and helped elves.

    Are battle/combat abilities that integral to RPing in quests, dialogues and choices? In the evil playthrough, I thought about certain spells, yes, but that was because I tried to follow the "darkest" path. In case you're not following the noblest path, you - I'm certain about that - should include "grey" skills into the game. But that's up to the player, ofc.

    As for BG3, they already said they focus on the player agenda and immersing yourself in the world. Since there is no paladin class in D:OS but there is in D&D, BG3 will be different.

    BelgarathMTH
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,605
    Don't worry about spoilers. Just post in whatever way you find engaging and that you will enjoy going back to and reading again for yourself. I'm not worried too much about getting spoiled on D:OS, as I'm taking a break from it after Act One, and I don't know when I'll want to play again.

    It turns out I have only a short time I can stay engaged in intense strategic turn-based combat games before I want to play something else that is more relaxing to me. Right now I'm running a cleric through NWN2, which is a very easy game combat-wise. I'm thinking about doing some more NWN1 after that, maybe Aielund Saga, or giving Darkness over Daggerford another go.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    We're slowly getting to the Alexander fight. While in the Gargoyle's Maze, we reached Lvl 8. It was a good time to re-evaluate all the skills and decide what we want to spend them into.

    Louse got Elemental Affinity talent, which lowers the action point cost of spells by 1 while standing in a surface of the same element. Now she can start any combat with Rain (only 1 ability point cost), and her otherwise costly Hydrosophist attacks will be cheaper (2->1 and 3->2 action points are massive improvements).

    Red Prince got Living Armour talent, which adds 35% of all healing he receives from any source to his Magic Armour. That's a great way to keep a tank alive. Warfare/STR specialists usually have gear which focuses on Physical Armour, so anything boosting their Magic Armour regeneration is very welcome.

    Ifan got Elemental Ranger talent, which inflicts bonus elemental damage depending on the surface the target is standing in. A very cool way to boost his damage, considering our targets are often standing in the water/electric clouds.

    Fane got Comeback Kid talent. I think Act 1 so far has shown he, being undead and not getting healing from regeneration, needs any survival boost he can get.

    Now was the time to merge books of different skills. Fane dropped his 2 necromancer spells for:

    Corrosive Touch (only 1 ability point cost): Geomancer + Necromancer, it destroys physical damage and sets Acid status on the target;
    Venom Coating (again, only 1 ability point cost): Geomancer + Scoundrel, it coats weapons with poison for 2 turns for extra damage.

    Red Prince now has Impalement and Poison Dart spells - the former for setting a Crippled status (this spell, while inflicting Magic damage, still goes through Physical Armour for the crippled status), the latter for healing Fane when needed.

    Louse now has our first great Source spell: Chain Lightning - already inflicting 82-90 air damage on 8 targets. She can cast it only once per battle, but it's massive.

    The well in the maze is a savescummers' dream. It can provide 6 epic belts/rings, which properties differ every time you reload. It reminds me of looting dragons and titans in M&M VII, to be frank.
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    Since this is a no-reload run, I haven't got very cool items from the well, but they'll still do.

    Gratiana reminded us about the times when Lucius and Anni had defeated mighty Braccus Rex:
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    During a short time Sebille was in our party, she opened up on her difficult personality. From those playthroughs I had her, I know you can actually make her the woman she longs to be, a good person.

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    BelgarathMTH
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    edited April 3
    Fane. Part 9. Leaving the island.

    I decided to approach the fight fairly, - usually, I enter it from one of the fortress's walls so that I could have a higher ground advantage. However, approaching it straight from the entrance is what the majority of new players would do, so no metagaming knowledge here to ease the fight. I wanted to test this party. I wanted to see my tank surviving the largest of attacks. I wanted my characters to use maximum they had.
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    The fun begins!

    Fane concentrated all he had on the nearest Gheist. Result: no threats of insane enemy backstabs, only chickens.
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    Louse's magic and Ifan's special Static cloud arrow meant one of the magisters (the assassin) got stunned.
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    Ifan then teleported as high as he could, to stay closer to the metamorph magister.
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    Red Prince spent the first round restoring Louse's physical damage (after heavy attacks by the enemy swordsman and archer).
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    At the start of turn 2, one of the enemy swordsmen had low magic armour. Fane ate an elven stew to up his Finesse for a guaranteed Sleeping effect on the enemy.
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    Louse had to use Teleport to bring the enemy archer down (from one of the top places he stood at), closer to Red Prince.
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    See an insane +50% bonus Ifan got from his location towards those poor magisters.
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    His second shot, though, was aimed at the metamorph magister. A critical hit, and 90% of her physical armour went away in one shot.
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    Red Prince knocked down the swordsman and archer who stood next to each other.
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    The metamorph magister shocked Ifan. Then the big worm appeared.
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    It was a dangerous situation for Ifan, so Fane had to move quick and rescue his friend. 1 free movement and wings helped. In one turn, Fane not only reached the magister, he also helped Ifan with Magic Shell and Fortify (the shell was from a scroll). Having taken one dagger off, Fane knocked down the magister.
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    Since a few magisters reacted to the worm, Louse had a good opportunity to first freeze one of them and then cast Evasion on herself. Who knew where the worm would have moved next?
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    Red Prince used Impalement and then Battering Ram.
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    Turned out, Louse knew the worm would strike there. Even while it didn't miss, armours of Red Prince and Louse saved them (see how the worm's damage goes straight through the armours, but they are not getting knocked down). The worm finished the unlucky assassin who previously had been knocked down by our lizard.
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    Ifan used a Knockdown Arrow on the metamorph magister. The previous round by Fane (when he had saved Ifan) turned useful.
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    Louse made sure she restored as much health as she could. Same with Red Prince. Note how just by restoring vitality he now restores magic defence as well. Then the lizard became a medusa, thus turning the swordsman to stone and letting Louse escape any potential attacks of opportunity in the future.
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    Earth Corruption - a massive concentrated missile attack by the worm killed Ifan.
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    Louse finally got a chance to try our mega source attack - Chain Lightning (on the worm, Alexander, and a few others).
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    Red Prince finally finished the escaped archer (thanks, shield throwing). Then he continued to heal himself (and upping the magic armour). Our tank stood next to the dangerous worm, next to Alexander, and still was nearly fully uninjured.
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    It was enough to survive another worm attack. One of the enemies, however, didn't survive it.
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    Since the metamorph magister returned to the fight after our previous disablers, and there was no Ifan there, Fane quickly returned to her (yes, the wings really add mobility - during the previous round he moved to the Red Prince group to help against the archer in 1 action point). Now it required 2 action points to get to the metamorph, and another 2 action points to turn her into a chicken. We didn't need an enemy shooting from the high ground. We also needed someone to raise Ifan, and for that Fane had to be close.
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    Louse, who now was safe, could cast freely.
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    Note how now we acted through magic defence against the strongest of enemies we faced (while all the previous killing was done through physical defense by Fane and Ifan). This is why a party with both physical and magic attacks are so fun to play, in my opinion.
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    The worm now used Earth Corruption on Alexander, and Fane got a perfect opportunity to raise Ifan. Ifan then teleported closer to Louse so that she could heal/shell him.
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    Fane finally finished the metamorph.
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    Now when both Alexander and the worm were exposed to magic attacks, they didn't last long. Ifan used Fire arrows, and it was he who completed his own contract.
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    The worm used Worm Mucus on the ground but Red Prince still stood still.
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    Louse killed the voidwoken and ended the fight.
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    What is sweeter than this fight - it's Ifan's bear hug!
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    We arrived as Sourcerers, we now leave as Godwoken.

    BelgarathMTH
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,237
    edited October 11
    I had D:OS EE on my wishlist for a while, but other things on my mind and other games to continue, too.
    Then, after reading all those discussions of real time with pause vs turn-based combat, I noticed that I had never played a game with turn-based combat before, and that gave me one more reason to finally give it a try.

    Reload will be on game over only (both Source Hunters dead) or maybe if I make a really, really bad game-breaking mistake, because I'm playing for the first time and didn't want to look at walkthroughs (haven't even read very far into this thread, for fear of spoilers).

    After only a few hours into the game, I already like it very much and hope it will remain like that. Maybe someone else will read this and give the game a chance.

    Difficulty setting is Classic Mode.

    Here are my two Source Hunters, Mara and Georg, ready to investigate a murder in a city surrounded by orcs and haunted by undead.

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    Mara is a wayfarer and Georg a knight, and I left them with the default setting the game gave them at the start.

    After exploring the beach where the ship landed, we saw a mysterious woman talking about a stone, then summoning some undead and running off, leaving us with our first fight.

    Since we were outnumbered (although not much), I decided to try out our abilities:
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    That was nice and worked well. Knockdown for that Cursed Lieutenant meant a lost turn for them, so we finished them off quickly without a scratch on our skins.

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    First impression from my first small turn-based fight:
    I like it. I thought it would be immersion-breaking, but it actually helps my focus. Besides, I love to get immersed into the story of a game, the roleplaying, but noticed that I don't need to get immersed in the heat of the battle. This is more organized, I can plan carefully without having to hit pause all the time (or autopause). I still have problems handling my action points efficiently, like, do I move closer to increase the probability of a successul hit and then shoot, or do I shoot and then move away to a better position and out of reach, so that they have to waste points to reach me when it's their turn? But I can already see the possibilities this is going to offer when fights get complicated.

    In the tutorial dungeon, we picked up a lot of stuff and experimented a bit, crafting our first knockdown arrow (found a knockdown arrowhead, thanks to Lucky Charm).
    I noticed later that the crafting system is quite complex and interesting. Found a few recipes (sp?), but also had some fun experimenting and trying different combinations to see what happens. Now I'm hamstering everything I find, in case it might be useful later.

    Also, the multitude of options to manipulate your surrounding and find solutions is nice. For example, moving objects to block a way. Or throwing a fire grenade on some nasty critters standing in a puddle of oil:
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    Thankfully, the poor oiled rat didn't get caught in the blast.
    Also, the radius of anything to do with fire is not to be underestimated and the effect lasts a while. So, mental note: Use fire very carefully, especially when allies are close.

    After finishing the tutorial dungeon, we saved Ishmashell (a reference to Moby Dick?) and got rewarded with a ring. Being able to talk to animals is nice.

    Our conversation with the drunk guards brought us our first level up.
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    This will take getting used to. It's such an open system. But I figured that improving Mara's chance to hit with her crossbow and making Georg tankier and able to better resist status effects couldn't be wrong.
    Maybe I will find the patience to read the manual some time...

    We then fought with the legionaries against a few orcs and their human companion (or leader?) and I saw what a fight with more participants looks like in turn-based combat. I remembered that Mara can summon a spider, too, and I noticed again how important careful positioning is.

    That's enough for the introduction. The two of them have started their investigation in the city. I really enjoyed talking to people there, discovering things, experimenting, and also having surprises and fun moments that made me laugh. Exactly what I need right now. But that's a story for another day.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    Wayfarer and Knight is a good starting combo. You'll be able to decide on additional skills later, but Geomancy (Spider), ranged attacks and knockdowns will be enough for the majority of early encounters in the game.

    Upping Perception on one of the characters is vital in order to find traps and secrets. You'd want to always spend at least a point there, every level. Also, it improves your initiative.

    I'm looking forward to your stories, so far looks quite solid. Don't worry much about reloading - traps can be brutal in this game, and defeat conditions (losing 2 source hunters) are rather harsh. I'm sure the story will give you more fun. Experiment away!

    Arvia
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,237
    edited October 12
    Yes, I had initially started with a Wayfarer and an Inquisitor, but then decided that I'd rather not go without a melee fighter, so I restarted with that combination of Wayfarer and Knight.
    I guess it's no secret that I love to roleplay my characters, and I didn't want to restrict myself to paladin-types only. Something in the Wayfarer's description resonated with me, because I spent most of my childhood in the forests and used to make bows and arrows with my brothers.

    I should have mentioned that, after reading the first page of this thread and the bad experience that @BelgarathMTH had with the fish thief, I decided not to give them an AI. I'm roleplaying that I'm Mara, the main character, and Georg a long-time trusted companion, who has his own opinions, but who shares the same principles concerning things like duty, honor, compassion and kindness. So, they might have different opinions on some subjects (also to see how the different personality traits affect the game), but they will agree on the important things.

    I'm not too concerned about reloads, this game is new to me after all, but I'd like to restrict them to absolutely necessary ones (and not just because I didn't like the outcome of a rock-paper-scissors-thing) and to keep a counter, if only to record my learning curve and have something to compare if I play the game again some day.
    I narrowly avoided the first reload today!
    And since I'm not going anywhere for a while (woke up with flu-like symptoms today and had to get tested again, now quarantined until the test result, during my week off), here's my next report.

    **************************************************

    After making it rain on a burning ship, we met Arhu the cat/wizard and entered the city for our investigation. But first we made the acquaintance of a clairvoyant bull :D .

    We solved our first little quest by finding work for a few sailors who had lost their ship, and recruited our first companion. She had bitten a legionary, but Mara immediately felt connected to her and was convinced that it had only happened because she was not used to humans. She would benefit from some guidance, and no person should be caged just because she didn't know the rules.
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    What a nice talent to have. Don't wash, and melee fighers will keep their distance!
    Arrow recovery is also nice. I'll give the rarest ones to her, then.

    Mara has the Pet Pal talent. Sometimes it's very useful to talk animals, and when it's not, it's always worth it for a little laugh.
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    Well, we spent the day talking here and there, meeting Captain Aureus, talking to the murdered Jake's wife Esmeralda and then inspecting the crime scene at the inn, which had impressive and unexpected consequences.
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    What a curious place. And I want that telescope!

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    Unfortunately, we learned that something called the Void (and an impressive, dark dragon representing it) is consuming the fabric of time and space itself. That imp, the Chronicler, took us to the Weaver of Time, who said that by activating the Star Stone, the object at the crime scene that had reacted to our presence and brought us here, we had given her more thread to weave, or something like that. That seems to counteract the Void. Why, or what our connection to this place is, remains to be discovered.

    Back to our own plane, we learned that Arhu knew the Chronicler, and that Jake also had some connection to those mysterious stones. Arhu gave us a teleporter pyramid, which can be activated to teleport us to its twin.
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    One of the silly moments that made me laugh. I wonder if he really just dropped it there in cat form or if it was an intentional prank. Anyway, we apologized, picked up the second pyramid and left.

    These things are going to be really useful. I could send someone scouting and then snatch him back to the waiting party members, jump to the companion who has the other half during a battle, or throw it somewhere behind enemy lines and teleport there... this is going to be interesting.
    Then I had a rather undignified a-ha moment, when I remembered something I had seen yesterday and wondered how to get there, and where I could try out these pyramids.
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    In other games, I didn't take anything from containers even outside. But I'm not a paladin now and this game makes a rather clear distinction between containers or items that belong to someone, and containers or stuff that has no current owner. What is outlined in white when you hover over it is without owner, if it's red, it belongs to someone. And I get the feeling that I need everything I can get right now. Equipment is expensive and rare, and I need ingredients for crafting. So, I take what I can from "public" containers, but I don't steal from merchants or rummage around in a chest in somebody's living room.

    Meeting the mayor and his adopted daughter, the orc librarian Victoria (he had found her as a baby), we also recruited our next companion in the library, the wizard Jahan. I hesitated to address him at first, because he was mumbling stuff about demons and searching books on the subject, but his interest doesn't seem to have the reasons that I thought at first.
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    On the city wall we met an old elf who begged for our assistance, but unfortunately we found out that he was not what he seemed.
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    Turns out his whole kin had been slaughtered by an orc tribe, with him the only survivor, while the only survivor of the orc tribe was none other than that nice librarian, and he asked us to assassinate her to complete his revenge! Now what?

    We talked to Victoria, of course, to warn her and her father of the threat, and then informed Captain Aureus that the elf should be arrested.

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    What a disgusting excuse of a legion captain! I guess we will have to find proof, but how?

    Now, back to the murder investigation. Arhu had suggested looking at the corpse, but the mortician semms to be hiding something, the dog at the graveyard says whatever is in there doesn't smell like his master Jake, and digging him up requires a shovel, which led to us running through the whole city looking into every corner and talking to everyone who sells anything, without finding a shovel!

    We did find some other pretty interesting stuff, though.
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    Eew. Now what might that be good for? I was in the mood for experiments and tried out a few things with our ingredients.
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    Most things just say "invalid combination", but an eyeball and an empty potion bottle make a minor potion of perception! That's cool! Although I'm not looking forward to acquiring more creepy eyeballs, to be honest

    Some item decriptions confused me, like a bucket that wrote "can hold water, or heads." I thought that was a rather morbid joke, until I realized it can be used as a helmet.

    We learned from Aureus' second-in-command (infinitely more agreeable person than the captain himself) that they could use a little help with the undead plague, and she suggested we might try the western side of the city, in the direction of a haunted lighthouse. I thought that our party wasn't ready for that and continued looking for a shovel, when we heard suspicious talk from a house that sounded like torture, but turned out to be a healer in a dilemma.
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    Always a difficult decision, but not made better by hesitation, or you might lose both patients. Mara and Georg agreed that, while the old man would be sorely missed, the young one should get his chance at life, too.

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    That triggered another one of those surges, so it seems to have been the same kind of stone as before.

    Returning to the End of Time having unlocked a portal also unlocked level 3 for Georg an Mara (our two companions were level 3 when they joined us).
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    I chose Light Stepper for Mara, because thanks to the warning from @JuliusBorisov I want to be able to safely detect traps. For skills I wasn't really sure what to choose, because I couldn't put another point into those that already had one (a question of levels, probably), and thought that Telekinesis sounded useful.

    For Georg, I chose Lucky Charm, because he has the Romantic trait which gives him +1 to it (Mara has one point in Lucky Charm from the start, but she's Pragmatic, which gives her +1 to Crafting). Besides, it improves his offence rating. I probably should choose something that invloves spellcasting for him next time. Thick Skin seemed a good choice to improve his armor rating.

    After unlocking the Hall of Heroes and returning with more questions than answers, we still couldn't find a shovel to continue our murder investigation, so we thought we might take a look out of the western gate after all. I completely forgot that there is such a thing as trying to sneak.

    That was such a bad idea, we deserved the lection that followed.

    We suddenly found ourselves in the pouring rain, attacked by a Half-Eaten Zombie, an Undead Swordsman and an Armoured Decapitator. Read: Nasty critters. Okay, they were level 3 like us, but apparently we still have a lot to learn. And of course I forgot to use all of our resources. I also didn't manage to make meaningful screenshots, but I'll try to reconstruct the fight.
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    First mistake: Tried to shoot from too far away. Missed and wasted my action. Also, those undead critters are either regenerating or have an awful lot of AP to heal so much and attack at the same time.

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    Ricochet at least helped to hit all of them, but the Zombie kept healing. I had Georg attack with Battering Ram to try multiple damage, too, but unfortunately undead seem to be immune to Knockdown or at least resist easily, and he ended up right among them without having dealt a lot of damage.

    I wondered if I dared to have Jahan use electricity in this wet condition, because Georg was standing awfully close to that water puddle, but I had to take the risk.

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    Anything that incapacitates them is good. But I had to pull the weaker party members back, Mara and Bairdotr seemed to miss several of their shots, and the zombie caused disease that had to be healed.

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    Georg had already used Cure Wounds, which is once per combat. Using it provoked an attack of opportunity, hitting an opponent in melee and then withdrawing with the remaining AP caused an attack of opportunity, and drinking a healing potion caused an attack of opportunity:

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    Sorry, brother. So, priority shifted to keeping Mara alive to avoid a reload. I had her drink healing potions to full health and kept her in the back to shoot from a safer distance, even if that meant more misses.

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    I needed Jahan to get closer, but he stepped into the zombie slime and Bairdotr had to cure his poisoned status.
    With Blitz Bolt, Bitter Cold, and more missiles (B. using our only Stunning Arrow because of desperate times, and thankfully recovering it), at last we managed to finish them off.

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    That had been too close for my comfort. We returned to the city walls and decided to gather a bit more experience before heading out again.

    I know I could have resurrected Georg during the battle, but I was afraid that he would only get killed again immediately (maybe I'll have him learn Morning Person) and waste the action *and* the valuable scroll.

    What have I learned?
    - Remember to summon that spider, even if only as a meat shield
    - Position carefully and *then* attack, don't get nervous and shoot before you are close enough to hit
    - Must improve Bairdotr's Perception
    - Use anything that can hit multiple enemies and/or incapacitate them as soon as possible
    - Try to avoid actions that might provoke attacks of opportunity
    - Have more people learn spells and remember to use them

    (Edited because of typos)

    Party level: 3
    Reloads: 0

    Post edited by Arvia on
    JuliusBorisov
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,237
    I still feel like I'm faking it to get through this game, but at least we have fought and won a battle against 7 opponents now, without losing a party member and with barely a scratch on us, so it seems that I'm learning. But first things first.

    We continued investigating the murder and therefore having a look at the graveyard again.
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    This reminds me a lot of the Merry Cemetery in Romania. I think this kind of humor is really nice, because that's how life is. You laugh, you cry, you find humor in seemingly inappropriate situations, and I don't think it's lack of respect, it's how life is. You can't escape the serious stuff, but you can take it with a tear in your eye and a smile on your lips.

    We still couldn't find a shovel anywhere to examine Councillor Jake's corpse, so we tried to solve the issue with the vengeful elf who wanted to see Victoria, the kind orc librarian, dead. We tried talking to everyone involved again and just couldn't find any possibility to gather evidence that would make Captain Aureus arrest him, so Mara, being pragmatic, thought that maybe offering Victoria's amulet as proof would either convince him that she was dead, or provide us with evidence and a possibility to arrest him.
    Justice must be done, but we could hardly murder him right there at the inn without proof, and therefore the priority was to avert further harm and protect Victoria.
    Of course she was reluctant to part with her amulet, the only family heirloom she still possessed, but Mra tried to reason with her that it was certainly not more valuable than her life.

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    Back to Eglander. We entered his room, waited until another citizen left it and then closed the door behind us, just in case things got ugly.

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    Unfortunately he vanished in a puff of smoke after that and left us a reward chest. That was not what we wanted to happen, but at least he's gone. He was very old, after all, and only kept alive by his thirst for revenge. Maybe he will succumb to his old age now. My priority was protecting Victoria, but I wonder if there was another solution, because Aureus asking for proof suggests that the game might offer such an opportunity. We went back to inform Victoria.

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    She rewarded us, too, which made me feel even more that we had cheated by getting rewards from both, but there's nothing I can do about it now.

    This was among the rewards.
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    Better gear is always welcome, especially if it was nice specials like the additional elemental damage, HP and the chance to stun the opponent.

    Continuing our search for a shovel, we talked to every person we met to see if they were selling one, including the legionnaires (I've realized that I misspelled them all the time, but I'm not going back editing that until I get very bored). No shovel to be found, but an armor with rating 46 as opposed to the 32 that Georg is wearing. We spent almost all our money on it because of what happened during the last fight. Our knight deserves all the protection we can find.
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    We also noticed that we hadn't seen Bairdotr's bow next to the pen where she had been guarded when she joined us, which is better than the standard issue bow she had been using, so she's better equipped now, too.

    We got tired of searching for a shovel and decided to solve some minor issues along the way. Mara remembered Ishmashell, and thought we should go back to that beach (maybe he hadn't gone too far yet and was still somewhere close to the shore) to ask him if he had seen that collar that Unsinkable Sam had lost. We took the waygate, because it was shorter.
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    Eureka!

    I'm so glad I didn't look into a walkthrough to see where I could get a shovel. That discovery made me so happy. I didn't examine that area too closely when we arrived there at the beginning of the game.

    Unfortunately digging up the corpse didn't tell us that much. Again, we left with more questions than answers.

    (no pictures following, just spoilers about the investigation)
    We now know what happened to that sheep the woman at the market was missing, but we don't know who exchanged Jake's corpse with that of a sheep, what they did to the original corpse, and if the exchange was made by the murderers and why. Arhu seemed to think that disappearing corpses might link the deed to the undead, so that's where we'll continue our investigation.

    We also rescued a talking head and promised to try to reunite it with its body. Again, we solved the quest to take the head in a way that I wasn't too happy with, but it worked.
    We were first asked by Cedric, the performer without an audience, to find out what made his competitor so successful, apart from the talking head. We found out he uses a crowd warmer, and the talking head confided in us, telling about his abduction and asking for help. So, we had to distract the performer. Cedric had asked us to hire the crowd warmer for him, and using her Charm abilities, Mara successfully convinced him in a rock-paper-scissors-thing to work for Cedric instead. That drew the spectators away, but the performer remained, so we told him about the crowd warmer and he went over to have a look, which gave us the opportunity to pick up the talking head. The double-crossing using the crowd warmer felt dishonest, and there must have been another solution, but that's what happened.

    Anyway, we took the head to the cellar and promised to take him with us and try to find his body.

    Then, after a clue that had suggested a connection between the undead plague and the murder, we decided to venture out again. We hadn't forgotten what happened last time, but we're a bit better equipped now and also had time to learn from our past mistakes and consider a better approach for the future.

    For a start, I unlinked Mara from the group and had her sneak ahead (not ideal, since she's not good at it) with one of the teleporter pyramids in her pocket, and left the other three linked together in a place we had secured before when we fought the first undead. Georg was carrying the other pyramid, so they could teleport to Mara if something happened, or she could jump back to them.
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    I counted at least 4 undead in that building, and a doorway partly blocked by some barrels and crates. Maybe we could use it as a chokepoint?

    Discovered!

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    Seven of them! I counted two fumbling terramancers, an undead clubber, an undead swordsman, an undead killer, an armoured archer and a zombie. At least I have learned from the past and immediately summoned the spider right in front of the opening to distract them and force them to go through it.


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    Okay, the spider is immune to that poison surface and keeps attacking and also drawing their attention away from us. I remembered to teleport my companions to Mara and thought about our options.

    Georg couldn't do much of anything, so I positioned him not too far from the opening and preserved some of his action points so that he could attack twice if someone got through. Mara and Bairdotr mostly shot missile weapons, but couldn't shoot over the crates. I had Bairdotr use a stunning arrow, Mara threw a fireball from a scroll, which finished a few of them and turned the poison surface into a cloud. Jahan used the missiles from his staff and those spells that can freeze or stun their targets, and Georg, after Encouraging the team, took care of the critters that stumbled through the opening. I was surprised the spider survived the first fireball, and that the remaining undead kept attacking it. I usually don't play much with summons out of pity, but this one works great and I don't like spiders, so it's not like sending a beloved furry companion into battle. At some point, when we couldn't really take aim in the cloud anymore, I decided to throw another fireball or fire grenade, don't remember which one, and then we finished the survivors one by one as they crept out of the opening.
    Here's a few screenshots, just for an impression.

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    The Undead Killer landing one hit on Jahan was the only damage my party took during that encounter. After the humiliating last fight against only three undead, I'm reasonably satisfied with this outcome. I used a few limited resources, but I think it was worth it. Also, my main mistake last time was using Battering Ram, thereby leaving Georg flanked and the others unable to use AoE spells/attacks for fear of harming him.
    I'm learning.

    By the way, Jahan thinks the teleporter pyramids are something demonic. I see no reason to believe that, and a tool is only as evil as the use you put it to, so until proven otherwise I find them helpful.

    Also, I realized NOW that I need to find or buy skillbooks to learn new things. And that I might be spreading my ability points too much, but I really don't feel like saving them up for the next level, and I don't want to look into character builds and get fixated on them. I hope this won't impede my progress.


    Difficulty: Classic
    Level: 3
    Reloads: 0
    Party deaths: Georg (1)

    JuliusBorisov
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,237
    I also just realized that I'm probably excited about beating a trash mob, considering how early in the game that is. But those elemental surfaces really make things a bit more challenging if you can't just run in and hack away with a sword.

    @JuliusBorisov , one question: Would you recommend spending points as I get them, or saving them to spend two next time, so that I can raise some skill/ability to level 2?
    It just feels counterintuitive to not use something when you gain a level, but I wouldn't want to end up with a rather useless character, either, who is for example level 8, but can only use level 1 spells and skills.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    You can respec the two main characters later, after you unlocked enough rooms in End of Times. So don't worry about that. I didn't use any builds and played the game as I saw fit.

    But of course, you should try raising abilities to lvl 2 and 3 in the future as they provide more powerful skills. Putting 1 or even 2 pips into something is not bad, especially if it brings a good skill. For example, it never hurts to have additional healing or any other buff. At the end of the game, I could safely cover 3 abilities, not 2 (for example, Jahan got Geomancy to his Hydrosophist and Aerotheurge).

    Don't be shy when you won-- especially since in this case you used objects to your advantage. Fights in this game can be like puzzles-- better spend some time figuring out what to do then haste and suffer. So the more creative you become, the better.

    I like your reports. It's interesting you decided not to tell about Eglander to the authority - I did and they imprisoned him. But the main thing you saved Victoria, ofc.

    And I agree about the humor in this game.

    Arvia
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,237
    edited October 14
    You can respec the two main characters later, after you unlocked enough rooms in End of Times. So don't worry about that. I didn't use any builds and played the game as I saw fit.

    But of course, you should try raising abilities to lvl 2 and 3 in the future as they provide more powerful skills. Putting 1 or even 2 pips into something is not bad, especially if it brings a good skill. For example, it never hurts to have additional healing or any other buff. At the end of the game, I could safely cover 3 abilities, not 2 (for example, Jahan got Geomancy to his Hydrosophist and Aerotheurge).

    Don't be shy when you won-- especially since in this case you used objects to your advantage. Fights in this game can be like puzzles-- better spend some time figuring out what to do then haste and suffer. So the more creative you become, the better.

    I like your reports. It's interesting you decided not to tell about Eglander to the authority - I did and they imprisoned him. But the main thing you saved Victoria, ofc.

    And I agree about the humor in this game.

    No, I did report to Captain Aureus, of course. But he said something deeply prejudiced about the orc librarian and said he'd need proof to arrest Eglander. I thought that offering him (Eglander) the amulet would lead to gathering proof, but it just made him disappear. Do you remember if you found any evidence for his crimes that Aureus accepted? He didn't take my word that he hired us to assassinate as enough proof.

    Edit: And what I meant about spending pips was if I really need to save them up from one level up to the next, or if there will come a time when I will have 2 to spend instead of one during a level up.

    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 20,965
    Ah, I remember now: I looked into Eglander's pockets first. ;)

    Arvia
  • ArviaArvia Member Posts: 1,237
    edited October 17
    We don't seem to be getting anywhere with our murder investigation and I'm out of ideas for the moment, so we decided to explore the undead plague. Several fights followed, of course.
    To give a few impressions:

    Targeting an oil barrel with a fire arrow: Very useful. Even if I misjudged the distance and got burned in the process.
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    That was level 4 for us. Had to resurrect Georg once during that fight, because he ended up in a poisonous cloud. We need to buy more resurrection scrolls.

    Also found a nice item for the knight, especially since the undead seem to be rather resistant to slashing damage.
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    It was good that we found it then, because shortly after that we met the ghoul that guards the lighthouse.
    Unpleasant fellow, and attacking his minions first was a mistake, because he just resurrects them.
    I'm glad to be playing on Classic Mode, because I've seen in this thread afterwards that he's immune to everything on Tactician. (I try to read posts mostly after having played that part, so that my decisions won't be influenced)
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    That was a surprise. I didn't actually expect knockdown to work on him.

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    Not sure what that was. I think the archer fired an exploding arrow or something equally bad.
    I remembered to summon my spider, but it didn't survive very long.

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    Not sure if it's visible in the combat log, but with that Spear of the Vandal Georg landed a critical hit for 93 piercing damage on the ghoul. That's quite a nice amount of damage for level 4, I think.
    Bairdotr finished the ghoul after that.

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    After that, two wolves and an archer were easily killed, but Georg stumbled into the poison puddle the ghoul left behind and we were too far away to save him. Stupid.

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    Sigh. Another resurrection scroll used. Have to buy more.

    Okay, but even with the ghoul defeated, entering the lighthouse didn't give us any answers about the undead plague.
    (minor spoiler following)
    The ghost in the lighthouse made a terrible choice out of jealousy when he was still alive, but Georg and Mara agreed that they felt sorry for him. Maybe there will be some possibility where he can make amends. Right now I really don't know what we could do for him. Anyway, he's the one who keeps the lighthouse lit, so there's no connection to our problem.

    Now, I forgot to mention we met a pair of legionnaires on the cliff before reaching the lighthouse. They were the only remaining survivors of the group sent out by Selenia. They had been promised a ticket home if they found out what had been going on at the lighthouse, but they were frightened out of their wits and refused to go there.

    Now that's where I really appreciate the opportunity to roleplay two characters with two different viewpoints, so that I could voice and play out my inner conflict considering this. Mara, having grown up in the forests, being primarily a survivalist and having strong maternal instincts along with a very forgiving nature, thought that they were probably just serving their compulsory term in the legion, no professional soldiers, very frightened, and wanted to go home. Courage could leave anyone who sees all their comrades dying by the claws and spells of some undead abominations, and they wouldn't have stood a chance against the ghoul and his minions.
    Georg disagreed and thought they should have acted honorably, helped defending their comrades, and not hid away when duty called. He certainly didn't feel we should share our information with them and let them go back to Selenia falsely claiming our victory for themselves so that they could leave Cyseal and go home.

    They both used Charm to try to convince each other, and it was rock-paper-scissors again.
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    Mara wins, and when they reflect about their disagreement and Mara wonders if she has gone too far, Georg admits that her compassion suits her well.
    I like how I can roleplay even some disagreements and that I haven't given them an AI.

    Exploring the area a bit more before going back to Selenia to report, there was one other fight that I'd like to comment on, because it taught me a few things again.

    First: Teleportation is amazing. It has a long range and can transport a dangerous enemy from the obscure background into shooting range. It deals quite a bit of crushing damage when you drop him at his target location (which didn't help much right now because he healed himself immediately, but that's not the point), and, if available (not in this case, but as an example), you can conveniently drop him on a harmful surface of your choice, for example into a water puddle or on burning ground.
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    Second: No use killing someone who doesn't stay dead.
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    Mental note: Always go for the priests and sorcerers first (knew that. forgot about it.)

    Third: Think very carefully before teleporting. Close enough to be in your weapons range means close enough to be more dangerous, too.
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    Ouch. Both Source Hunters with very low vitality, no more potions left, and very few spells/skills to heal.
    Focused healing on Georg, because he's in the front, and Mara decided that a tomato might do the trick when desperate enough. The others focused again on anything that immobilized our opponents and bought us time to heal.
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    I had left Georg with an unspent ability point at level 4, because I wasn't quite sure what to use it for. The decision was rather easy after this experience.
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    Level 1 Hydrosophist it is. Now we just have to find a Regeneration Skillbook for him and besides look at more Geomancy options for Mara, now that our little expedition has left us with some coin to spend.

    But first we had to report back to Selenia, who asked us to confirm the legionnaires' story.
    Now I was really glad that I'm not a paladin. As a wayfarer, I don't mind a little white lie if the ends justify the means and nobody gets harmed. Georg objected again, of course, but quietly enough to discuss this without Selenia overhearing the argument.
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    After that, we went shopping for Skillbooks. Regeneration for Georg, and then for Mara I decided to get Boulder Bash for some more offensive skill and Fortify to protect our knight.

    Back again into undead territory. There seem to be more people missing, including an archeologist.

    Found this.
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    Interesting item description. Seems to be a reference to something or someone, but I don't get it. Might google later to satisfy my curiosity.

    Also found the archeologist, Wulfram. Everyone else was dead, and he had some important information for us.
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    That B. seems to be a name we should remember.

    Poor Wulfram asked us to escort him back to Cyseal, but then he ran off without waiting for us, and was dead when we left the building. I have no idea if that was a mistake on our part because we didn't follow quickly enough, or if it was inevitable. Lots of alternatives to explore in this game for a second playthrough (like trying to get the talking head. I've read now in the first posts of this thread that I could have lured people away by performing on the stage instead of hiring the crowd warmer, but I prefer not to read about things I haven't done yet, unless I get completely stuck).

    More undead. Our new skills make these fights easier.

    Here's our new spell Boulder Bash in action. First the crushing damage, then a fire arrow to ignite the oil that the boulder leaves behind.
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    I know it's just a combat log but that sounds funny. "Fumbling Undead Mage is no longer Warm. Fumbling Undead Mage is Burning." :D (a turn or two later that was followed by "Fumbling Undead Mage turned into charcoal." Fire is a horrible thing to use on people and appropriately dangerous for the own party in this game, but I feel no pity for undead.

    And one of Jahan's favourite spells looks really cool when I manage to hit f12 at the right moment.
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    Fortify to protect Georg, Bairdotr's Treat Poisoning, and the fact that two people can cast Regeneration now are all things making our fights easier now. I'm also learning how to use a few of the very many creative opportunities this game offers.
    For example, in another corner of the map we were attacked by a bunch of fire elementals and a pyromancer, and while they were still out of shooting range and I didn't want Georg to run into what basically looked like a lava field, something as simple as making it rain on them already weakened them substantially.
    The spider and teleportation always remain useful of course.
    Speaking of fire elementals, I found an amazing improvement for Mara in the chest there.
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    Forgot to mention, we made level 5 after some undead fight including another crazy priest and some enraged zombie boars, right before meeting those fire elementals. I'm going to post an update on our recent stats, skills and abilities next time.

    We have found the second one of two apparently matching dungeons, but haven't entered it yet. The first one had some symbols that suggest a puzzle involving its twin. We're going to check it out, and then we'll go back to the city to see if we get some new ideas concerning our murder investigation.

    I also have no idea what to do about the two ghosts we met. The first one, in the lighthouse, will certainly have some quest, but I don't know about the second one, the fighter from the fair. I really didn't feel like challenging him to a fight just because I could. We'll see eventually if there's more to that.


    Level: 5
    Difficulty: Classic
    Deaths: 3 (Georg. I think I won't continue counting individual deaths)
    Reloads: 0

    Post edited by Arvia on
    JuliusBorisovOlvynChuru
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,669
    edited October 17
    I've played the Divinity: Original Sin games a few times, and here are my tips for the first game:

    * Rather than having someone disarm all the traps, it is easier to bring along a mage to set off all the traps with magic.
    * The spell Boulder Bash lets you detect traps while you're aiming it. Any traps at the spot where the boulder is being dropped are shown.
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    * Similarly, in most situations, you do not need to have someone who can open locks. Simply having a mage blast the door or chest with fire works if you're patient (and the more powerful your magic, the less time it takes).
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    (Your weapons don't break if you use magic instead of weapons on the doors).
    * Summon Spider is an amazing spell. I recommend giving it to every party member, including non-magic characters. If you send four spiders into battle before your party members go in, enemies will usually attack the spiders first, using up all their dangerous abilities and items (like stunning grenades or exploding arrows). This is true even on higher difficulties.
    * I also recommend giving Teleportation to every party member. When cast by a non-mage character, Teleportation won't do much damage, but teleporting things is still useful and it gives more versatility.
    * Mages (particularly ones with Pyrokinetic, Geomancy, and Aerotheurge) are amazing. They are so powerful throughout the entire game if you use them right.
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    Post edited by OlvynChuru on
    ArviaJuliusBorisov
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