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[MOD] Improved Heart of Fury Mode Version 4.1.0

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Comments

  • frostyshfrostysh Member Posts: 55
    OlvynChuru wrote: »
    I'm not sure what link you're talking about. Try downloading it here and see if you still have problems.
    Bloody GitHub no working with slow internet connection like mine, the browser says that download is finished, it's 14,7 MB of size and then, when I am trying to open with double click ZIP folder saying about file is invalid. I am able to open it with 7-Zip program, but there is no any installer inside only single folder with bucket of files.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,786
    @frostysh
    frostysh wrote: »
    OlvynChuru wrote: »
    I'm not sure what link you're talking about. Try downloading it here and see if you still have problems.
    Bloody GitHub no working with slow internet connection like mine, the browser says that download is finished, it's 14,7 MB of size and then, when I am trying to open with double click ZIP folder saying about file is invalid. I am able to open it with 7-Zip program, but there is no any installer inside only single folder with bucket of files.

    Isn't the installer (setup-BetterHOF.exe) inside that initial folder?

  • frostyshfrostysh Member Posts: 55
    @OlvynChuru

    Nope, there is no any *.EXE inside the ZIP-file, and the file is actually damaged, Google Chrome Browser cannot download from GitHub with my slow internet connection (max 256 Kbit per sec), so I am trying to download it with different browser.

  • InKalInKal Member Posts: 161
    .exe is inside the folder.

  • pi4tpi4t Member Posts: 5
    With the revised kits, the limits on how many proficiency pips can be spent on one weapon at character creation seem to have been lifted, making it possible to be a grandmaster at level 1. Is this intended behaviour?

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,786
    @pi4t
    pi4t wrote: »
    With the revised kits, the limits on how many proficiency pips can be spent on one weapon at character creation seem to have been lifted, making it possible to be a grandmaster at level 1. Is this intended behaviour?

    Yes, that's intended behaviour. But it should only matter for characters that can get grandmastery. And at level 1 you don't have enough proficiency points to reach grandmastery (except in Two-Weapon Fighting for rangers, I guess).

  • pi4tpi4t Member Posts: 5
    OlvynChuru wrote: »
    @pi4t
    pi4t wrote: »
    With the revised kits, the limits on how many proficiency pips can be spent on one weapon at character creation seem to have been lifted, making it possible to be a grandmaster at level 1. Is this intended behaviour?

    Yes, that's intended behaviour. But it should only matter for characters that can get grandmastery. And at level 1 you don't have enough proficiency points to reach grandmastery (except in Two-Weapon Fighting for rangers, I guess).

    Odd. I seem to be starting with 5 proficiency points at level 1 for some reason. Possibly some mod conflict; I'm reinstalling everything from scratch in the hope that it gets solved.

    In case I need to Keeper it, how many proficiency points are classes supposed to start with? The same as unmodded?

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,786
    @pi4t
    pi4t wrote: »
    Odd. I seem to be starting with 5 proficiency points at level 1 for some reason. Possibly some mod conflict; I'm reinstalling everything from scratch in the hope that it gets solved.

    In case I need to Keeper it, how many proficiency points are classes supposed to start with? The same as unmodded?

    Actually, this mod makes you start a couple of levels higher, so that's probably what causing it. You're not actually starting at level 1.

  • marcnivarmarcnivar Member Posts: 130
    just found out this interesting mod after started my game, I guess I have one more reason to replay Iwd someday :)

    Hopefully it is compatible with those npcs and quests mod we have, I guess it should be install last in the order like scs

  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    Hey @OlvynChuru Just met my first Zombie Lord. Is it supposed to be able to use Devour Brain ignoring Stoneskin? Considering they Drain 8int per hit an will strike a character with -10AC on a roll of 2 and have multiple attacks per round... These things are beyond lethal. It just turned into kite silly-season with no way to protect anyone. I got it in the end but yeah, kite while waiting for Int to recover...

    OlvynChuru
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,786
    @alice_ashpool
    Yeah, for that particular enemy, using ranged weapons is best.

    alice_ashpool
  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    edited May 10
    A little bit of feedback/bughunting - All the Verbeegs in the Lost Temple are busted and wont attack. Will just stand around instead and use rage, but never take a swing. Edit: I think this is a normal weapon immunity thing...

    I've been impressed overall. Especially those quickling things! it's like a mashup of elements of SCS, regular HoF, Improved Anvil and Tactics. I've got as far as Dragon's Eye solo, through trying as hard as I can to break and abuse everything ^_^.

    Deaths were: 4 to the Zombie Lord as I tried to understand what was going on with preventing the braindrain. 1 to a wight because I forgot Negative Plane Protection just once.

    Especially liked the early "challenge fights": Greater Ogre, Rhino Beetle and Blinding Orc in Kuldahar Vale especially.

    Post edited by alice_ashpool on
    OlvynChuru
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,786
    edited May 10
    @alice_ashpool
    A little bit of feedback/bughunting - All the Verbeegs in the Lost Temple are busted and wont attack. Will just stand around instead and use rage, but never take a swing. Edit: I think this is a normal weapon immunity thing...

    I made it so enemies with normal weapons don't attack characters who are immune to normal weapons. Though maybe I could make an exception for these enemies - a stupid enraged giant would probably keep attacking the character, even if they couldn't deal any damage.

  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    Little bit of an update: I died 2 more times bringing deaths to 7, both times to Presio's gang, mostly because after dualing I had not re-activated my previous class so poison and the endless skeleton bolters lightning got to Kali. I went and ground out 500,000XP to reactivate them an try again no problem though she had to kite back so she didn't get her brains eaten. Presio + Apprentice used their whole spell books. I especially liked Presio's last ditch trigger to make here melee-viable after using up her spells.

    On floors 4 and 5 of Dragons Eye the closest Kali came to death was not Yxu, but the Histachii with the High Baptist who put out so many snakes she almost got completely overwhelmed. Even -20AC wont protect your from something like 40 enemies rolling for crits.

    OlvynChuru
  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    edited May 10
    Severed hand was ok. 2 deaths.

    1. Mobbed by everything on floor 2 then smited into a corner and stunlocked to death by a pair of Skeleton Guardians surrounded by lots of other junk. 2. Casually tried to fight the Elven Swordsmen in the middle of the room, not the doorway; did not work well.

    Very good area, in parts. The Priests dispel their own protections making this part very easy. I don't like the lower floors anyway, so... But in favor the Mage fights were great, especially how they will melee during timestop.

    Upper dorns: >10 deaths.

    Most of what kills me is the endless things with Smite or smite-like effect. Starting to get rather irritating watching my character knocked across the screen for the 100th time or pinned against a wall permenantly. The Ettins, because they have endless smite-smite effect at something like 5 attacks per round, if they knock you back against a wall while in sight they will just stun-lock a character to death unless it can take them down ranged due to their v. high thac0. That is possible, but 2 ettins are unbeatable due to the smite effect + number of attacks + damage. At least the Skeleton Guardians actually had to use smite at once every 3 rounds or so. with -12AC they will hit on a 2. Strategy is minimal: make sure you fight them in an area where they will knock you into fog of war so you can close again for melee. Or make sure you only aggro one at a time to sling it down. Or dance around a pillar.

    Blue Myconids are a uninteresting lottery. I'm not sure what the penalty on their petrification effect is but even with saves at -2 it seems to proc occasionally.

    To make things worse, going into the Ettin cave then leaving causes every enemy to re-spawn. I cleared the floor once, so finding out that everything had just re-appeared in exactly the same place, after all the effort I had gone to was demoralizing.

    After the enjoyment of the Severed hand mage fights it feels like a let-down focused around a gimmick: endless smite.

    Also Shield of the Archons claims to protect against remove magic but it doesn't seem to. And temples don't seem to offer restoration, so getting level drained is game over.

    OlvynChuru
  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    edited May 10
    But on the plus - the first Drow fight is amazing. This is real "impossible battle" stuff. Still not found a way through yet. Shield of Archons not seeming to work as described is hurting.

    OlvynChuru
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,786
    edited May 10
    @alice_ashpool
    Blue Myconids are a uninteresting lottery. I'm not sure what the penalty on their petrification effect is but even with saves at -2 it seems to proc occasionally.

    This has more to do with your particular party composition. Normally, if you're playing a party of six, you'll likely have at least one character who can cast Protection from Petrification. It just so happens that you don't. That's part of the disadvantage of soloing; you're more likely to end up with glaring weaknesses that you can't do much to fix.
    The Ettins, because they have endless smite-smite effect at something like 5 attacks per round, if they knock you back against a wall while in sight they will just stun-lock a character to death unless it can take them down ranged due to their v. high thac0. That is possible, but 2 ettins are unbeatable due to the smite effect + number of attacks + damage. At least the Skeleton Guardians actually had to use smite at once every 3 rounds or so. with -12AC they will hit on a 2. Strategy is minimal: make sure you fight them in an area where they will knock you into fog of war so you can close again for melee. Or make sure you only aggro one at a time to sling it down. Or dance around a pillar.

    My preferred strategy for taking on these ettins is to summon a bunch of creatures like Shambling Mounds (which have high crushing resistance) and send them in against the ettins. The ettins will spend some time knocking the shambling mounds back, which gives the party a small window to attack the ettins with ranged weapons.

    Enemies with Smite aren't quite as bad if you're using a full party. That way, if one of your party members gets pinned against a wall, the other characters can rush in and help out.

    In my runs with a full party, I found Upper Dorn's Deep to be easier than the Severed Hand or Dragon's Eye.
    To make things worse, going into the Ettin cave then leaving causes every enemy to re-spawn. I cleared the floor once, so finding out that everything had just re-appeared in exactly the same place, after all the effort I had gone to was demoralizing.

    I'll probably prevent them from respawning if I release a new update for this mod.

    alice_ashpool
  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    Wow. I have managed to do the Drow ambush, and it took maybe 14 attempts... lmao, and some less than polite tactics. Its really good, one of the best battles I've seen made. The weakness of the Solo Shapeshifter is kicking in. Can't wait to see whats next!

  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    So. Much. Smite.

    ZFbtVdJ.png

    GrnKByT.png

    The only change I have made is the availability of restoration. With the shere number of dispels there is no way to do this fight without some levels being drained... It feels like an oversight to have lots of level draining enemies but no restoration available from any of the NPC clerics...

    OlvynChuru
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,786
    @alice_ashpool
    The only change I have made is the availability of restoration. With the shere number of dispels there is no way to do this fight without some levels being drained... It feels like an oversight to have lots of level draining enemies but no restoration available from any of the NPC clerics...

    I think I'll have some temples sell Restoration scrolls in the next update.

    Also, it might be impossible to get it now, but Mother Egenia sells a ring that gives immunity to level drain.

    alice_ashpool
  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    Shame about the ring. I thought she was supposed to appear back in Kuldahar after clearing Dragon's Eye but I can't find her. That ring would have made the Idol fight considerably easier since get drained enough and you become vulnerable to Turn Living, and the Clerics will just control you, meaning a wipe without some sort of access to restoration scrolls. I got it on my 6th attempt, then forgetting to save I had to do it 10 more times before success. So yes, very hard, but almost every wipe was first due to not realizing I had an undispellable way to counter Mass Harm and then due to level drain. I liked the fight, kind of. I cheesed all the rest of the undead using "pro tactics"

    There are, imo too many things that just cast dispel over and over, rather than just say two or so - lots of enemies prioritize casting dispel over their own protections and buffs and are constantly dispelling themselves. Enemy Buffs then dispels their own buffs in their eagerness to remove yours... which you haven't bothered to put up because you know they will just get dispelled. Plenty of times I have been blinded, chaos-ed, even Feebleminded, only to recover and keep on fighting, through the opponents over zealous use of dispel magic.

    In the end I went and spawned in the ring of Negative Plane Protection since in hindsight it is essential. Having tried Malovon a couple of times with no access to restoration scrolls or protection from dispel magic I had it down to around a chance 1 in 3, so as things stand I feel it is essential for the solo. Overall I liked the Malovon fight - came up with an unothodox tactic of casting spike-growth on the blind deepgnomes to get them to all use malovons rage at once, clearing out all the spider summons instantly.

    I skipped the Purple Kraken fight after getting Imprisoned the first time. Not much I can do about that with this build.

    Probably died upwards of 50 times now on the run, maybe more, but then everything has been blind after getting to Kuldahar the first time. Most deaths have been to Ettins, The first Drow Ambush, The Frost Giant Cave, and The Idol.

    I think the Giants were the worst, just because of the screen shake and the gank-y stunlock nature of the combat. A hasted backstabbing character might make this somewhat bearable or even easy.

    I am going to attempt Maiden Whatsit now but I just know its going to be a smite-knockback-stunlock-screenshake fest.

    ---

    A few hour later... yeah. I don't like it. This has the potential to be an interesting fight but as it is its just yet another piece of repetitive giant pinball. I'm just going to say that endless smite-locking is a bad mechanic that has nothing to do with the original gameplay with very little in the way of available counter that isn't timestop or kiting. I was going to resort to Natures Beauty to deal with them only to find the spell has been made useless. Hmm.

    OlvynChuru
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,786
    edited May 11
    I'm just going to say that endless smite-locking is a bad mechanic that has nothing to do with the original gameplay with very little in the way of available counter that isn't timestop or kiting.

    A few other ways to counter them:

    1. Have a party member cast Protection from Magical Weapons, Improved Mantle or Absolute Immunity. Those will protect them from the giants' attacks including the knockback (though because of your party compostion you can't cast these spells). If you're playing with a full party, you could put that party member in a chokepoint (like the bridge over the lava in the fire giant area) and have the rest of the party kill the giants with ranged attacks.

    2. Summon a bunch of creatures to distract the giants while your characters attack them with ranged weapons. This is much less effective when you only have a single party member though.

    3. If you have several good melee attackers in the party who can also cast Mirror Image or Stoneskin, you might be able to engage the giants in melee, as they can only knock back one character at a time. This is less practical when there are multiple giants at once, though.

    4. Ettins in particular don't have great saving throws. If you sneak up on them and cast Dire Charm or Domination on them before they have a chance to use their rage, you may actually be able to get one of them on your side. You can potentially do this with frost giants and fire giants too, but they have better saving throws.

    5. If you have a sorcerer, you could potential kill them with instant death effects like Finger of Death or Wail of the Banshee (Enrage doesn't protect against instant death). Mages currently don't have access to scrolls for those spells this early, but that's something I can change.

    Unfortunately, you happen to be playing a single character for whom these strategies are unavailable or impractical. I think that's why you're finding the giants so annoying.

    alice_ashpool
  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    edited May 11
    Final update for the Solo Shapeshifter: I got back to Easthaven. Think i'm going to call it quits.

    Build: Shapeshifter (15) -> Fighter
    +++++Sword and Shield
    +++++Single Weapon

    Mostly used a magical defense shield in the offhand. Well geared it worked very well for 9/10 encounters but lacked any ability to prevent dispels due to Shield of Archons not working and couldn't deal with smite-locking. The final straw was getting punched to sleep by a cyclops. Yet another stun-lock.

    Spellcasting was ok, but lacking as a solo due to also being the front line. Mostly defensive with a few fights that require offensive casting. Shifted back to human only when needing to hit something with a crushing weapon, or a sling. Biggest mistake was not putting +++++ in Slings.

    I think i'm going to go with a party next time, though I dislike micromanaging hehe.

    I'm thinking:
    Shapeshifter (15) -> Fighter
    Shapeshifter
    F/M/C
    Berserker -> Mage
    Shadowdancer
    Bounty Hunter

    OlvynChuru
  • ZandosZandos Member Posts: 12
    Hey, is it possible to install just part of this mode? (namely better AI only)

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,786
    @Zandos
    Zandos wrote: »
    Hey, is it possible to install just part of this mode? (namely better AI only)

    No, unfortunately.

  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    edited May 11
    Decided to go with the party idea above with a couple of changes. Am determined to beat your mod -^_^-

    Reading the readme and the changes made to some of the classes, I have decided that instead of berserker -> mage I will try the unlikely build of Wizardslayer (20) -> Mage as the ultimate Mageslayer. Will have to see how long a 21 level downtime really is. Its really hard to decide what to go with. Everything is so shiny and new. The DD dragonform is enough to want to take one but I can't fit them into my team and i've played a lot of Sorcerers recently.

    Instead I am taking two of my favorite characters out for a spin: Bountyhunter and Shadowdancer (13?) -> Fighter to see how they hold up.

    Shapeshifter (15) -> Fighter (human)
    Shapeshifter (elf)
    F/M/C (half-elf)
    Wizardslayer (20) -> Mage (human)
    Shadowdancer (13?) -> Fighter (human)
    Bounty Hunter (halfling)

    Have played up to first floor of Kresselacks tomb. Overall, with a party, the boosted XP and gear, and with my new metaknowledge it has not been considerably harder than regular yet due to all the extra toys to play with. But I know that the beginning is easy compared to the mid to late ;)

    I also want to say great decision to give XP for traps and locks + scroll scribe-ing. That's a really nice addition and a bonus for taking thief levels.

    Detailed discussion:
    1. The Orc/Ogre Caves were obliterated with access to the bounty-hunters traps. This class is so great. However, I did reload before a probable tpw when I forgot that Ogres use War-cry and half my party got feared. Forgot the buff.
    2. Kuldahar Vale fell to the 2 tank 4 ranged approach. Some dual-Call Lightning as well. I like to make the most of the outside. Like a chicken I skipped the optional bosses. Personally, and this is just a personal thing, I am reminded of how in Improved Anvil if you didn't do certain bosses before you reached an XP threshold/point they would disappear. I like the idea of forcing the player to do these three fights at low level before moving on to Kuldahar, but since I didn't have to I left them 'til later.
    3. Kuldahar Bounty the Bountyhunter had maxed Pickpocket so we took all the good stuff inc the free Ring of Free Action
    3. Vale of Shadows Ring of Free action on one of the Werewolf Sisters allowed Yeti killing up to the point where we got Protection from Negative Energy. High Wis means we have enough to buff the whole party. Tombs 1 and 2 were done with some risk, but in the end considerable success. Therik is a challenge, and a good one due to his damage and very high physical damage immunities. Cycling tanks, pelting with ranged for 1 damage per hit and standing in Thorns bought us enough time for a dual Static Charge to proc, killing him.
    4. Return to Kuldahar Vale - The Greater Ogre was taken down with Melee + ranged - yet I keep forgetting they use Warcry. Fortunately everyone who can has a copy of remove fear so it didn't turn out too badly. Due to the improved thief thac0 tables Shadowdancer is actually quite effective before the dual: Shadowstep and HiPS allowed some good backstabs with the Kai-katana despite only 2x at the moment.
    For the Rhinoceros Beetle i know what I am doing now. The first time I did this, before the Solo attempt its special power really messed me up. This time Backstabs, tanking and the F/M/C buffing worked fine, the rest of the party sat on the sidelines.
    Then Uligar - this is 100% my favorite of the three, a unique encounter and really nerve-wracking. I took the wrong approach this time and didn't go all out on disrupting him so he got off a few Blinds, but my party is much more optimized this time, and an extra level or so, and so it was still possible to win.
    5. For the Zombie Lord: Why bring a Bountyhunter if you're not going to use it? 4 traps were only enough to get it to Injured so instead boots of speed kiting + ranged and sunscorch took it down quite easily with no risk. A far cry from the last time.

    Overall these are all really nice encounters for a party. The somewhat disappointing one in the two Vales is the Yeti Chieftain which I feel is not challenging enough for a full party. This could perhaps be rectified if it was moved inside the cave with the 5 other Yeti.

    Some screenshots of Team Alice in action:

    Orc Ambush:
    cTT7Knv.png

    Prepping for Ogre Battle. Note the lack of Remove Fear... whoops:
    B5AU36F.png

    Revenge on the Zombie Lord:
    CBJrO3T.png

    OlvynChuruMantis37StummvonBordwehr
  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    edited May 12
    Kresselack's Tomb Discussion.

    With Mytos it is amazing what a very small change in the AI can do. Previously he retreated letting his Temple Guardians approach first then fighting you 1-on-1 after they were dead. Now, sensibly he fights alongside the Guardians, which are beefed up. This was difficult with the team for 2 reasons. Firstly the F/M/C is naturally low level so no access to 4th level spells so only 1 character with the Free Action ring can deal. Orrick no longer has the 2nd ring pick-pocketable, instead it is for sale (as an aside if I was ever going to make an IWD mod it would be to overhaul/add more pickpocketable things in the game). Secondly, party play is much different to solo, before I relied on kiting back to the entrance, here I wanted to do it "properly" which generally resulted in holds and deaths. In the end I just trusted Free Action Werewolf to hold the line by herself with support. This fight is reminiscent of some of the best changes SCS made in BG1, I love it.

    The excellent Ambush + Skeleton Mage fight has this really nice progressive feel where each bit runs into the next with more enemies joining. First the addition of skeletons in the room behind is nice. And the Snowball Archers approaching once you trigger the ambush makes taking them out asap a priority rather than hunkering down and letting enemies come to you, which in turn triggers the imbued wights and the mage, who summons a horde of trash skeletons. You feel like you are being overwhelmed by the dead in a continuous battle to take down that mage. Nice instance of cloudkill too. 10/10

    Managed floor 2 in one sitting. the big fight is The main thing anyway, everything else is just mopping up.

    The Floor 3 Ambush feels well balanced. Managed it in one take but I knew what was coming. The biggest upset was when the Mummy and Shadows from the north wandered down to join at a crucial moment and I thought it was all over. The 2nd Skeletal Mage Fight I likewise feel is well balanced though the most dangerous enemies are the Snowball Archers again. Without any Arcane casting due to playin the F/M/C as a plain F/C for now Team Alice resorted to a pair of stolen exploding potions when things looked to be going badly. That was enough to swing it and bring Victory.

    Managed floor 3 in one sitting too, just. MVP to Go(o)dberry. Overall I think 3 reloads for the whole tomb, which I am happy with - 2 for Mytos (Holds) and 1 for the 2nd Floor Ambush (Bad setup - pinned and snowballed to death). This is a really interesting challenge gauntlet, and changes the whole feel of what is usually a rather boring dungeon into something lethal but not impossible.

    Some Action pics
    Race to take down a mage:
    antooUS.png

    2eL6Qq2.png

    Third Floor Ambush:
    zL6RWj7.png

    0fYR6LO.png

    Just before winning the final encounter
    69IZ6lP.png

    Bugs Noticed
    When you enter floor 2 of Kresselack's, the two new Acidic Skeletons are present in the anti-chamber. They disappear after 1 second. They then re-appear in the ambush.

    OlvynChuruMantis37StummvonBordwehr
  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    edited May 13
    Lysan is individually tough, with some powerful spells and sling bullets, but she is let down by the weakness of her Yeti minions which means that she can be engaged in melee from the beginning. She will also prioritize ranged against a weak party member if they come into sight, even if she is in melee, this allowed her to be taken down easily due to the AC penalty. Considering you will almost certainly be going into this fully rested it feels somewhat anti-climatic, both in terms of the battle and the loot.

    Forgotten Temple

    ..oh no, the first encounter with powerful knock-back enemies - the Verbeegs. I don't like them, even with a party. We play pinball a lot. Last time I came through here I had Normal Weapon Immunity making it very easy. This time its ok. Just irritating.

    On Floor 1 the first of two set piece battles was the Floor 1 westerly room with 4 acolytes in it. Unfortunately there are not enough Vebeegs (only one in the room) to really make them dangerous. An Insect Plague rendered the whole thing quite simple. Entangle + verbeegs being immune to it in IWD is a nice combo, only it doesn't actually come into play all that much since with 2 Rings of Free Action plus casts we're ok.

    For the other fight, the Floor 1 Exit, it was a mess. One of the Werewolf Sisters was catapulted into the room by a previous Vebeeg that shot her about 30 meters north, aggroing everything. We fought our way out while being batted all over the place. Just attrition and pinball + ranged.

    Floor 2 Ambush was tricky because backstabbing one Verbeeg aggroed the whole lot due to the better calls for help. The Shadowdancer had to sit most of the battle out while stealth-ed. HiPS is 10/10. THe fight itself wasn't hard, similar to some of the upstairs ones. Also, I have noticed that 100 Lockpick is not enough to disarm any of the traps on this floor, I am guessing the trap difficulty has been beefed up and will have to put more points in Lockpick.

    Floor 2 Final Fight - it is good to have a boss battle on this floor. The Forgotten Temple always felt like weak filler - only a fraction of an actual dungeon, but this helps. Shruddem is powerful and with a large enough HP pool, and his minions work well together as a whole encounter. I approached it rested because it has the capacity to get out of hand quickly. However, again (dual) Insect Plagues were enough to shut down the casters, and traps + pinball to deal with the Verbeegs. The caster AI does not seem to deal well with AoE effects and most of them continued to try and cast despite being Insected.

    Overall I feel that forgotten temple is improved, but since it was weak in the original it does continue to be weak in the mod.

    Dragons Eye Floor 1

    The Initial Ambush has, imo been made easier by the lack of a Shaman there immediately.This means the ambush can be done with no chance of debuffing. Instead there are a pair of Trained Fire Beetles which spit fire and will target party members without fire resistance. This is the first of many encounters. Knowing how painful they are the Werewolf Sisters took them out first - extra dangerous enemies but with very low HP is a nice thing to have, allowing target priority to be a thing.

    This initial ease is countered very quickly by the buffed up AC of the Tough Lizards (compared to regular-IWD, not regular-IWD-HoF that is) - scaly hides I guess, but tough really does mean tough. Taking them down takes time. The Lizardmen Shamans all cast Spike Growth (good to be on the receiving end of AoE stacks for once) and can summon Bombardier Beetles, which you just need to put up with or take them down asap. One of the Werewolf Sisters has a set of boots that grant spike growth immunity which is useful. For reference Solo Shapeshifter was level 15 and had dualed to Fighter, giving her huge thac0 boosts so this was not as hard as it is with the party:

    2 x Shapeshifter 11
    Wizardslayer 9
    F/M/C 7/7/7
    Shadowdancer 11
    Bountyhunter 11

    levels are maybe one lower than they could be because I have scribe-d no scrolls yet. Thac0 ranges from 4 to 8 semi-buffed which is not enough to hit consistently.This is a good party for this stage imo but it has no arcane power. Though what it loses in bombardment firepower it makes up for in Melee-tanks. the Shadowdancer takes time to get going so they are the spare wheel at this point. A bard would give some huge boosts to the Shapeshifters at this point as well as providing a high-level caster so potentially a F/C and a Bard or Skald instead of the FMC and Shadowdancer, but I can't bear to lose HiPS. This is 100% a buffs + physical damage party at the moment.

    As you approach the bridge the majority of the first batch of Lizards come out to play. Shamas use Entropy Shield and so are immune to missile damage and (innately) to Spike Growth with low AC so only Insect plague has reasonable chance of stopping them casting their own stacked spike growths. After this there is a second and a third group, mostly using the same tactics.

    The Lizard Man King meant we brought out everything. Bountyhunter now has Hold traps which can result in the odd enemy being held which is useful. We trap up, buff and then Special Trap bomb straight into the middle of them. Being far enough back from combat means that a bountyhunter can throw special traps into melee as party-friendly fireballs which is very effective. Something unexpected was the Lizardkings ability to summon Earth Elementals. In the end we had to retreat and reposition with some trash-summons. The druid spell Produce Fire turns out to be particularly useful as a mini-fireball.

    Dagon's Eye Floor 2

    I think Trolls have been made easier individually. Their regeneration is not particularly noticeable and there is no fire/acid requirement making them easy to blitz through. Thematically I think SCS did this right when it gave them greatly boosted regen which required fire to shut off for 1 round. However, here, because of getting mobbed I think they might be about right. The Poison Trolls are probably difficult because it is v. difficult to protect against, but Druid Poison Immunity makes that redundant.

    Sword spiders move like lightning and attack a lot, but their thac0 is weak and their HP is non-existent. Not a problem. The overall difficulty comes from the big groups of mixed enemies which can easily overwhelm you in the narrow corridors. There is the Big Mob towards the floor 3 exit, a horde of phase, sword and wraith spiders, beetles and lizard shamans which can soon rush over you as they pile in faster than you can kill them. I consider this to be the hardest of the floors challenge fights.

    Greater Fire Beetle fight was tough and a nice themed encounter, it is very difficult to hit and comes after a considerable number of nasty acid spewing beetles, but high fire and acid resistance was able to get through the bombardier beetles then buy enough time to crit it down + static discharge zapping it. Also, once it showed up it's 1 fireball per second turned the rest of the beetles into charcoal.

    Talonite Priests are in vanilla one of the harder fights in the game, due to the level you are at when you encounter it and the difficulty in finishing off trolls before they regenerate. Here the trolls are Poison Trolls and the Priests are buffed up--I know they use some nasty unique disease effects. However, I didn't let them do any of that. Traps, Spike Growth and Insect Plague finished them off very easily. This was the easiest of the three challenges by far though it has the potential to go very badly--without Druids this would not be a pleasant fight.

    Dragons Eye Floor 3
    The Ambush is tough, but we started with a barage of 4x Flaming Oils while the Werewolf Sisters went for the Lieutenant. This took down almost all of the wights + Lieutenant, so it was just a matter of getting rid off the horde of blast skeletons without getting blasted with Cold. This was achieved by having everyone run round the corner and then attacking them with the Werewolves, with Entropy Shield and Stormshell up for 100%CR

    Thats as far as I've had time to go so far. Presio looms.

    Edit: I should say I died twice on floor 1 of dragons eye, neither to the King, and three times on floor 2, twice to the "Big Mob" and once because I had no FR when the Greater Fire Beetle showed up... whoops.

    Some more Action Pics

    Forgotten Temple Floor 1 west room:
    0o2PYgA.png

    Forgotten temple Floor 2 ambush pinball:
    QSVrUyH.png

    Taking down Shruddem, party style:
    vmvfdtk.png

    Dragon's Eye Floor 1, Fighting the Lizard King with everything we have:
    VXBuLkt.png

    KxtT9Lx.png

    Floor 2, Owning the talonites:
    U1fPVx4.png

    Floor 3 Ambush, with style:
    mMXYe7I.png

    gB74Ssp.png

    Bugs found:
    Possible bug (or possible intentional?): Shruddem's health status does not display when you tab over them (i.e. no injured, badly injured etc)

    The description for a Minor Globe of Invulnerability scroll is the description for Contagion

    Post edited by alice_ashpool on
    Mantis37OlvynChuruStummvonBordwehr
  • alice_ashpoolalice_ashpool Member Posts: 241
    edited May 13
    Presio was not so bad since AoE effects can shut down her spellcasting. I managed it in one - we had all the tools we needed for this fight. Trash Summons to hold enemies in AoE, caster-disrupting AoE, Traps, and Buffed Tanks

    The fight beforehand (last cold wight fight) was slightly harder imo (for this party), because of having back-row ambushed by Shadows. I reloaded here and tried again with a different strategy and it worked fine.

    Dragon's Eye Floor 4
    Pureblood Ambush was tough but done in one take. I got this first time through creative trapping, buffs and AoE effects and some careful micromanaging. At this point everything changed considerably since both Druids leveled up to 13 and got Greater Werewolf form. Their thac0 is terrible so they can hardly hit anything but they are also nearly impervious to harm. They cleared the rest of the floor by themselves while the rest of the Team Alice chilled out. The reason we leveled up here is because I had ground out some gold earlier to buy tomes from the merchant who disappears; lack of gold is due to extreme cash shortage in this mod, and of course grinding gold had the knock on effect of giving XP as well. High Summoner and High Ritualist were zero issue except for a bit of a wobble with the energy blades.

    Dragon's Eye Floor 5
    High Archer, one of the toughest fights in vanilla was dealt with using lots of prep. But mostly Create Fire and the twin buffs of Entropy Shield and Protection from Fire. The lack of cleric or mage in the room is it's weakness and we managed it in a single take. I think this fight is actually underwhelming now, but my team is very powerful so that plays a role. The biggest issue is that the Yuan-ti Elites need +1 melee weapons to match their magical ranged weapons.

    Treasure Room got me due to the snakes that spawned in behind wiping out my back-row. With foreknowledge we could re-arrange and deal with them. First attempt was a tpw.

    High Torturer I liked. It felt frantic with the snake ambush, and because the Champions will go through characters in seconds. The whole lot are vulnerable to remove magic though so that made things considerably easier.

    These three fights and some lesser mobs were done in one rest, with one death. After that Team Alice retreated to recover and prep for the 3 more "challenge fights" and Yxu.

    Priest room - We got it without any backline snakes spawning - in not sure if this just buggy implementation or some trigger is not being met or the enemies have to do the summon. Regardless, this meant that AoE control + damage could deal with them quite easily.

    High Baptist is one of my favorite fights here, so many little snakes. Bountyhunter accidentally trod on a confuse trap but apart from that things went well throwing lots of Create Fire at them. The HP of the snakes and the Histachii is very low. Maybe even too low for the Histachii.

    Outside the Throne Room was the hardest before Yxu. The snakes spawning along the back-line are temperamental. I am thinking this is an ability of one of the enemies? Anyway, some quick use of Invisibility 10' meant we did not get overwhelmed, though it took 3 attempts to get the strategy down and working.


    Yxuonimei - Well, I'm pretty familiar with this fight now, having done it plenty of times both in Vanilla and vanilla-HoF. She has Aura of Flaming Death, Fir shield (blue) and fireshield (red) as well as putting up a Globe of Blades. She is immune to lots of weapons. Here's how it went down. Bounty set 3 Special Traps where the Yuan-ti mages spawn and 3 special traps at the entrance to the throne room. Rest up invisible and prep.

    Summon some minions in case we need something to hold up enemies. Buff with the usual stuff, cast Invisi 10' on everyone except the 2 Werewolves and open the door. Cast Insect Plague and Spike Growth then activate fight. One Wolf stands in the Spikes + insects drawing aggro while the other wolf unloads 4x more Spike Growths and another Insect Plague. They then spam Create Fire to take out everything except Yxuonimei.

    Everyone else comes back in. We try some remove magic but it doesn't work and I forgot to memorise a dispel illusion type spell. Instead a few Piercing Arrows and 3 special traps thrown at her. F/M/C unloads lots and lots of buffs and debuffs. Bounty lays his final 3 regular traps OoLoS. Cycle tanks to refresh ironskins as they take out the MIs and then get her down to Near Death then pull back, letting her eat the final 3 traps. Finally, go in for the kill. Done on "first" attempt, as the number of AoE effects did crash the game once.


    ---


    Thoughts on Money Issues:

    Money feels too short in the mid-game. I can understand reducing the sale price of the loot since it was very high in the unmodded game - but this feels like it has gone too far in reaction to that. With a 6 person party at level 3 of Dragons Eye I only had 10,000GP. Considering the Bag of Holding is 9,000 at 20Cha (and remained un-purchased) and things sell for pitiful amounts this feels overly punishing, and this is with a party which is very gear independent, It would be un-enjoyable to play through with a party that needs lots of gear to be effective and I think this just limits potential viable party compositions or demands that you grind up loot. Couple this firstly, with the need to hang onto lots of specific items for later, which you might normally sell and secondly with a couple of merchants which, if you progress too far in the plot they disapear, it feels like an over-enthusiastic reduction. Loot sale values should be around 30% higher imo. The solution I found was just to grind out a pile of gold through resting ambushes, which I doubt was the intention since this will just over-level you.

    Even More Action Shots:

    Taking down Presio:
    Vrgqsc0.png

    Floor 4 Ambush in 3 parts (Looking bad, looking good, victory):
    EczadSM.png

    YuqVJnp.png

    RsE2r4t.png

    High Archer:
    80I6nAI.png

    bhXy9uA.png

    c1BS1ZV.png

    High Torturer:
    45mscRC.png

    Gaqunik.png

    High Baptist:
    roUGJXL.png

    Scar2Me.png

    Yxuonomei:
    Traps take out the Spawning Mages:
    Ld158mW.png

    Thinning out the Yuan-ti:
    B8LJq9q.png

    Yxuonomei appears:
    MTexpKA.png

    The rest of Team Alice engage:
    CSE14E7.png

    Tank cycling:
    ROtQnBX.png

    Demon slayer:
    ioonZNE.png

    Bugs Noticed:
    Luck can be cast on a target, but will always actually be cast on the caster

    Post edited by alice_ashpool on
    OlvynChuruMantis37StummvonBordwehr
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