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"Maybe this time" [NO-RELOAD THREAD]: "Soloing all to way to the end..."

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Comments

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 10,749
    @Enuhal: Very efficient indeed. One question: Why not use an Invisibility scroll on Liia Jannath, or maybe Pixie Dust before resting and returning to the palace?

    EnuhalRVNSCrevsDaak
  • EnuhalEnuhal Member Posts: 406
    @semiticgod Well, the easy answer would be: I simply forgot about that strategy :)

    Then again, while I've read about it many times, I've actually never used it myself - after the EE-changes to the ducal palace event, maximum damage aided by greater malison + chaos (and other cc) has always been my go-to strategy, and before that, if I recall correctly, I used to go for the wand of sleep.

    So, does Liia simply do nothing at all if affected by invisibility? Won't she try to attack the doppelgangers and reveal herself again? Obviously not, otherwise people wouldn't be using this strategy all the time, but it seems a bit strange to me. Since I have somewhat of an aversion to testruns, I rarely try strategies that are new to me, since there's always a risk involved. That's why there are some common no-reload approaches to several encounters that I've actually never tried at all.

    RVNSWise_GrimwaldCrevsDaak
  • EnuhalEnuhal Member Posts: 406
    edited July 18
    Rikai, Totemic Druid, second update

    BG1+SoD can be found here: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/994086/#Comment_994086

    For SoA, I once again had a specific plan in mind for the beginning of the run. My first stops right out of the dungeon were the party in the sewers below the temple district and Mencar's crew, easily taken down by the unstoppable combination I used for most of SoA - 2 fire elementals, 3 spirit lions, insect plague and, as defensive buffs, ironskin, deathward and chaotic commands.


    Several strength of one spells had been prepared to carry their loot and sell it, allowing me to get the belt of hill giant strength right away - I wanted to get this one early to alleviate the carrying capacity problem as soon as possible.

    After that, I made some more money via a couple of small city quests and payed Gaelan to get access to Aran's trinkets. With those at the ready, I decided to speed up gameplay even more by going for the boots of speed. The Warden, however, is one of the few foes in chapters 2/3 who can deal with summons, and even though I made him waste his death spell, this fight was a little bit close - right as my last summon went down, Rikai in turn defeated him with his nonmagical sling and nonmagical bullets (I hadn't bothered to buy the Biter +2 yet):

    Oh, and this time I did in fact pick up his key before freeing the actors.

    As I continued to complete city quests (mostly for the experience), I didn't encounter any further trouble until the final one I planned to do - the Unseeing Eye. Counting the two times I was hit by horror spells in BG1 and SoD plus the very close ducal palace fight as the first three big mistakes ot this run, the following was certainly the fourth, and by far the biggest. There's the web trap in the old tunnels which will also summon a couple of ettercaps - a trap which I'm well aware off and which had already given me problems in a previous solo run. I knew exactly where the trap was, and for some reaons, my brain decided that instead of preparing for it (for example by buying a potion of freedom from the nearby Roger the Fence), it would be a good idea to just... walk into the trap without any plan and see what happens, I guess. Really, this was just me not thinking clearly, or rather not thinking at all. Predictably, I failed my first save and ettercaps started attacking:

    This could heave easily been the end of my run. Granted, I was getting statistically unlucky, failing the save over and over again, but only I was to blame for my situation, and having to rely on making a save is never a sound strategy for a no-reload run. However, I did end up finally succeeding on the saving throw before Rikai was killed, thus saving this run from a rather embarassing game over:

    By the way, I skipped both the lich battle and the beholders during the remaining Unseeing Eye quest, given that I didn't have access to a Deva yet (which would turn the lich into just a minor distraction) and that beholders are one of the worst enemies a solo druid can face, so avoiding them is always the recommended strategy.

    Eventually, I made my way out of the city, completed the Trademeet quests (where I used pixie dust do skip straight to Faldorn), De'Arnise Keep, the Windspear Dungeon (skipping Firkraag at this point) etc. - you might find the Umar Hills missing from this list, and it's true: This was the time my rule of not ever using the console for this run came back with a vengeance. This might be some new bug with 2.5... I was completely unable to add the Temple Ruins to my world map. I certainly picked up Merellas Journal and Mazzy's Letter, talked to Minister Lloyd about it (though I did things in the wrong order, picking up those things before talking to the ogres)... but still, no Temple Ruins - which also meant no Shadow Dragon Armor to use against Draconis, and no Crom Faeyr for a potential future party in ToB. Not the biggest loss, but a bit annoying (especially since the temple ruins would be easy XP at this point, since I had access to a Deva by now).

    By the way, the second major bug I encountered (which might also be new to 2.5) was that, after confronting Rejiek in the bridge district, I ran down to the second basement level before he could leave the first one - and when I went back upstairs after finishing the fight, Rejiek wouldn't leave, instead he would attack me and start chasing me all over the bridge district:


    This might've also resulted in the followup quest in Trademeet not triggering.

    Anyway, with most of the accessible quests done for now, I hunted for some high value targets: Liches were killed by Devas, mind flayers died to a Deva protected by cc, the Guarded Compound was cleared... I skipped the Twisted Rune (there's a beholder involved, after all, and I really don't need the SotM, not even for ToB) - oh, and I recruited a party member for the first and only time during SoA - Anomen got to kill Kangaxx' demi-lich form for me using the iMoD +2 after my Deva failed to hurt him (it takes ages to try and kill him with weapon damage as a single-class druid due to his regeneration)


    While Rikai wasn't all that close to the XP cap at this point, I had gained all the significant spellslots needed for the remainder of the game, and there were no more items to gather, so I moved on to Spellhold. Not much to say here, summons still took care of everything. After obtaining the Cloak of Mirroring, I started skipping basically all Underdark sidequests - after clearing the Kua-Toa caves (except for the beholders) for the blood and the Demon Knight's loot, I went straight to Ust'Natha, followed Phaere's questline without allowing for any distractions, swapped the eggs and fled the city right away. I didn't need any items from the beholder caves or the illithid city, and I had already decided early on to get my experience during the easy chapter 2/3 quests rather than taking any risky underdark battles (though there would be more experience to gain down there, safety is still a primary concern).

    Back at the surface, I had Cromwell forge some items. I also killed Firkraag (I had forgotten him earlier on, and since I planned to pick up Keldorn during ToB, Carsomyr was an important item to pick up), dealt with Bodhi once again (easy work for another Deva) - and even reading the books about vampirism stashed in her lair didn't add the Temple Ruins to the map. No time to waste - Suldanessellar was cleared (at the cost of Demin's life during battle), the dragon didn't give my HLA summons any trouble - Elemental Prince + Deva aided by a Druid + Simmy using Energy Blades is still very strong in late SoA. Deva + Elemental Prince also took down Jon at the tree:


    The hell trials were completed the good way (though beholders were once again skipped - a Deva using remove fear was enough to get past the fear trial), and Jon returned. Summons quickly took down his allies, he himself quickly lost Hp and I really thought I had him:


    But he just wouldn't go down - mabye due to a common bug during this fight. Eventually, all my HLA summons ran out, and while Jon regenerated, I called in some more low level summons and used an oil of speed to improve Rikai's dps with the Firetooth Dagger. The second time was the charm, this time victory was mine:



    SoA went well except for the whole web trap debacle, pretty much as expected (this is the part of the game were I have the most experience with solo totemic druids) - though the run was actually faster than anticipated: It took me less than a day of playing to get from the opening dungeon to hell, making this a shorter experience compared to BG1+SoD. Basically, the only tactics added since SoD were the addition of SotA to my usual buffs (at least against spellcasters and for certain traps) and the important addition of the Deva (and, almost more importantly, her remove fear spell), the Elemental Prince and some more occasional offensive spells (I really didn't end up casting Nature's Beauty despite having it memorized a lot, but Energy Blades were used a bit).

    This was Rikai's equipment at the end of SoA: Ankheg Plate Mail, Legacy of the Masters, Helm of Balduran, Amulet of Power, Blackblood +3, Firetooth +3, Biter +2, Shield of the Lost +2 (which the EE allows druids to use, propably because the description states that it isn't made of metal), Ring of Gaxx, The Guard's Ring +2, Cloak of Mirroring, Boots of Speed, Girdle of Frost Giant Strength, Golden Lion Figurine, Black Spider Figurine, Rod of Resurrection, a ton of extra utility and protective items in various bags, also some weapons for future ToB companions.

    Enuhal

    StummvonBordwehrCorey_RussellRVNSCrevsDaak
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 1,887
    edited July 18
    Grond0 said:

    Liia's behavior does depend on the installation - I've certainly had the experience in unmodded games that she breaks invisibility by attacking.

    Same here.

    EnuhalGrond0
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,923
    Enuhal said:

    I didn't need any items from the beholder caves or the illithid city, and I had already decided early on to get my experience during the easy chapter 2/3 quests rather than taking any risky underdark battles (though there would be more experience to gain down there, safety is still a primary concern).

    Impressive stuff @Enuhal. I was thinking that as a solo you might have some problems without the Greenstone Amulet, but while writing this I realized you said you were expecting to recruit NPCs for ToB :).

    EnuhalCrevsDaak
  • Corey_RussellCorey_Russell Member Posts: 550
    FYI now that it's Friday I'll be able to get some real progress on my human cleric run (Thrasher) - will work on him tonight after work. Been pretty busy this week.

    Wise_GrimwaldlolienRVNSCrevsDaak
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,923
    edited July 21

    Any suggestions? Would having a shield instead of a second sword be more effective?

    Probably, but kiting them round the house while shooting them would be more effective still :D.

    lolienRVNSCorey_RussellCrevsDaak
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 1,887
    edited July 21
    Grond0 said:

    Any suggestions? Would having a shield instead of a second sword be more effective?

    Probably, but kiting them round the house while shooting them would be more effective still :D.
    Unfair tactics! But effective! However, particularly with Mendas, you have to keep him in sight otherwise he hides and backstabs very effectively. I actually like that improvement. He actually uses his thieving skills!! :)

    My run with Nigretta is awaiting the solution of a bug.

    lolienCrevsDaak
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,923

    Unfair tactics! But effective! However, particularly with Mendas, you have to keep him in sight otherwise he hides and backstabs very effectively. I actually like that improvement. He actually uses his thieving skills!! :)

    Agreed. In vanilla it's easier to just lead him out of the house to kite him, but with SCS a hidden thief coming after you with a poisoned backstab is definitely risky. However, there is enough room in the house to allow you to run round while taking the odd pot shot ...

    lolienRVNSCrevsDaak
  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 1,887
    edited July 22
    Grond0 said:

    Unfair tactics! But effective! However, particularly with Mendas, you have to keep him in sight otherwise he hides and backstabs very effectively. I actually like that improvement. He actually uses his thieving skills!! :)

    Agreed. In vanilla it's easier to just lead him out of the house to kite him, but with SCS a hidden thief coming after you with a poisoned backstab is definitely risky. However, there is enough room in the house to allow you to run round while taking the odd pot shot ...
    In a recent game I was surrounded by rats which protected me from Mendas. I was able to wound him badly using my bow, but he then moved out of eyesight, the rats stopped me moving, he then hid and later backstabbed me. Fortunately I wasn't poisoned. However with that one blow I was reduced to 1 HP. Fortunately that 1 point was sufficient to survive. :) Far too risky!!

    Grond0lolienCrevsDaak
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 10,749
    edited July 22

    Frost: No-Reload Morrowind Run

    Part 1

    Burned out from Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, but still hooked on no-reload runs, I've decided to try my hand at playing one of my favorite games no-reload: Morrowind. This run will end when the main quest with Dagoth Ur is complete.

    Notable Plugins:
    Tribunal
    Bloodmoon
    Morrowind Rebirth
    Morrowind Advanced

    I have no idea what the Morrowind Rebirth and Morrowind Advanced mods do, but they appear to make lots of changes to gameplay and content and make things a little harder, to boot. So this run will be partly blind.

    For those who aren't familiar with Morrowind, the gameplay revolves around attributes (like D&D ability scores) and skills. There's a skill for everything from punching people to blowing stuff up to jumping really high, and the more you do it, the better you get. There's a class system, but all classes can practice the same skills. Your class just gives you bonuses to certain skills and makes them increase faster.

    Our Charname is a Breton mage-type character named Frost. Bretons are half-elves with some nice defensive abilities and bonuses to magic skills. We start out in a swampy village named Seyda Neen, best known for its mushrooms, pond scum, and that one guy that plummets from the sky and dies screaming right in front of you. If you loot his corpse, you get a funny hat to wear!

    While Morrowind is a 3D game, it's infamous for using a complex version of to-hit rolls, and because Frost is a clumsy doofus, she struggles to slay a single rat without using her spells. As many Morrowind players have complained, she can swing a weapon right through an enemy over and over, missing every time.


    First order of business is collecting gold. By killing the murderer of a tax collector, looting the abovementioned flying dude's corpse, and stealing everything that's not under constant supervision, we can afford a very special spell:


    As the name might suggest, Fortify Intelligence makes you smarter, and one of the notable benefits is that it makes any potions you create stronger. I don't plan on abusing "super potions," which is when you create potions that fortify your Intelligence, then use the Intelligence boosts to create even stronger potions of the same type to create exponentially more powerful potions, but I do plan on using custom spells to make potions stronger.

    "Super potions" can give you infinite regeneration, speed boosts strong enough to let you clip through walls, and strength boosts strong enough to one-shot any enemy with a simple Iron Dagger, effects which can last for in-game days depending on how much you abuse the trick. They play a big role in Morrowind speed runs. This is why I won't be using them--though I will still create the potions necessary for the trick, just because I think it's cool to have super-intelligence potions on hand if I want to screw around. Knowing me, I'll probably just let them sit in my inventory forever.

    To get rich, we first head to the Mages Guild in the riverside town of Balmora, sign up, and report to Ajira, the resident furry, who tells us to go fetch her some mushrooms and flowers, among other little fetch quests. This lets us pay for a custom Fortify Intelligence spell to crank up our Intelligence by 100 for a single second, which is enough to last for a whole session of potion brewing (the game is paused while you use Alchemy). Stronger potions sell for more money, which lets us create a stronger Fortify Intelligence spell (350 points, only possible because one of my mods uncapped it from 100), which in turn gives us even stronger and more valuable potions.

    We buy useless ingredients from Ajira, turn them into fairly strong but useless potions, and sell them for all that she's worth: nearly 800 gold.


    Morrowind players will notice that my encumbrance is a maximum 1600, a ludicrous value 10 times higher than normal. Apparently one of my mods changed this for the player's convenience.

    With our money in hand, the Mages Guild is of little further use to us. We need better allies. So, we teleport to the other side of the continent and join House Telvanni!

    House Telvanni is a xenophobic, racist, and extremely violent cartel of wizard lords who live in gigantic mushrooms far from civilization. Enthusiastic about slavery and ethnic supremacism, and deeply suspicious of outsiders and the concept of rational discussion, they prefer to resolve disagreements by killing each other. Imagine a gang of 500-year-old sorcerers suffering from severe dementia and squabbling over blobs of magic goo.

    Why are we joining House Telvanni? Well, they have good services, the best of all the Great Houses (and we can only join one). Cosmopolitan House Hlaalu might be more friendly and the honorable House Redoran might be more reasonable, but if we want to buy the best blobs of magic goo in the country, we have to go to the Telvanni.

    I grind Alchemy a little more to get more money to learn spells and create custom spells. There's one very special spell that I'm looking for: Chameleon.

    Chameleon makes your character blurry and harder to see, and Oblivion players may know that 100% Chameleon makes you completely untouchable. Unlike Invisibility, Chameleon doesn't vanish the moment you grab an item, open a door, cast a spell, or throw a punch. But 100% Chameleon is extremely difficult to cast because it costs more magicka than Invisibility, and high-magicka spells suffer from spell failure (!) depending on your magic skills.

    Worse yet, 100% Chameleon doesn't actually make you undetectable in Morrowind. It just adds a flat percentile bonus to your chance of being detected while sneaking around, and for characters with low Sneak, you can't really steal stuff unless the owners are far away. The owners, of course, keep a close eye on their best loot.

    But you can stack Chameleon over 100 with multiple spells--and thanks to one of my mods, I can bump the magnitude up to a ludicrous 200% Chameleon. It only lasts for a couple seconds, but it gives me a 100% chance of snatching pretty much any item. I can steal priceless items right off the shelves of local merchants while the shop owner and the local guard are staring right at me!


    I can't sell those items back to the original owners, since they'll report me to the guard and I'll instantly get caught (which leaves me with the ugly option of fighting a guard who's far stronger than me, or surrendering all stolen goods on my person), but I can sell the stuff to anyone else. And in Ghorak Manor in the mining city of Caldera, there's a creepy little critter named Creeper who will buy gear at full price.


    I now have thousands of gold at my disposal and the ability to steal pretty much anything. What's the next step?

    Well, I happen to have a strong soul gem on hand after robbing one of my fellow guildmates back in Balmora. And if I use a custom Fortify Intelligence spell, I can use that soul gem to enchant a glass shield with a powerful offensive enchantment.


    Normally, enchanting is extremely dicey, and the odds of success are especially low for stronger enchantments. Even with reloads, some enchantments are actually impossible without high enough stats! You can have an NPC create the enchantment with a 100% success rate, but the price for that service is so incredibly high that no one ever uses it.

    Also, enchantments are limited by the quality of the item and the power of the soul gem. If you enchant some peasant's shirt with the soul of a sick rat, it'll be able to deal only a few points of fire damage (say) a few times a day. But shields have great potential for enchantments, glass armor is especially strong, and our new enchanted glass shield can deal a massive 45 cold damage from long range.

    Plus, enchanting an item removes the "stolen" flag, which means that if we get caught stealing something, the guards won't take away our shiny new shield!

    I use the fast-travel options to tour the cities of Morrowind, stealing valuable gear from every major vendor in the country. To my dismay, I discover that digging up a yam from a plot of dirt is not only extremely illegal, it also gets me kicked out of the Tribunal Temple (which I only joined to make religious people like me more). An Ordinator--a kind of elven police officer famous for their aggressive demeanor, freaky masks, and cool skirts--charges over to threaten me with hard labor for stealing a potato.


    But since 200% Chameleon is rock-solid when I remember to use it, I go right back to stealing the moment I pay my one-coin fine. I nab a longbow with a nice-looking price tag from a mod-introduced vendor outside of the floating city of Vivec.


    I apologize to the nearest priest to get reinstated into the Temple, then spend our newfound wealth on better gear and new spells. We're only at level 4 and have terrible stats, but we have an Ebony Tanto (a high-end stabby weapon that Frost can barely use), several new enchanted items that can shoot lightning bolts and heal us and stuff, some overpowered potions (not "super potions," but very strong ones), lots of spells, lots of money, and some shiny new equipment, including the long, weird-looking Telvanni Cephalopod Helm. Here's Frost, chilling in Caldera after making some deals with Creeper.


    Best of all, we now have the Boots of Blinding Speed, earned by escorted a known criminal to a safe location. The boots grant an amazing +200 to the Speed attribute, which is extremely useful in a game like Morrowind, where movement rates are intentionally sluggish in order to force the player to enjoy the scenery. The drawback is that the boots also impose 100% Blind, which darkens the screen to black and makes you miss pretty much every attack.

    But as a Breton, Frost has an innate 50% Resist Magicka effect, which means she only suffers 50% Blind. It's enough to cripple her already poor combat abilities, but it lets us see. And since Levitate spells scale beautifully with Speed to compensate for not scaling at all with Athletics (a skill that also boosts movement rate), we can fly around the map at a remarkable speed just by casting a cheap 1-point Levitate spell.

    We have lots of money, some strong options, garbage stats, and amazing mobility. This will make everything proceed much more smoothly.

    StummvonBordwehrRVNSCrevsDaak
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