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[PoEternity] New Characters

My completed stronghold!

My completed stronghold!

I’ve played a bit more of Pillars of Eternity this week, but nothing like the marathon stint I did this past weekend.  With my level 8 group I’ve completed my stronghold and have checked out some of the bounties from the Warden’s cottage upgrade.  The fights weren’t bad, and were worth a ton of experience and I got some nice loot off the bounty that was a human (and his pals) rather than a monster.  Since I completed my dungeon improvement, I’ve also stumbled across named bandits (and their pals) to take out but to capture instead of kill.  Not that it does anything other than put them in your dungeon.  You can talk to them but they don’t have anything to say.  No idea what would happen if I let one go.  And I found that Kana the Chanter and his high Intellect score does completely amazing things with the Ring of Jolting Touch that I gave him since I’ve been using him as an offtank to my monk, and it’s a touch-range spell that I don’t have the wizard using since I’m keeping him in the back.  But with that ring, Kana does damage to multiple mobs and often 1-shots his initial target, with massive damage being done to other enemies around him since Jolting Touch jumps to nearby enemies too, though with reduced damage to the later mobs in the jump cycle.  It’s still a LOT of damage.  Almost makes me think I might want to have the wizard run up to cast it too…..

But anyway….. I’m knocking on the door of level 9 and still have a couple more bounties I can fill.  Plus I really need to head back in to the dungeon under my stronghold too.  I was able to clear a little of it at level 4 when I 1st got the stronghold, but then as I pressed further in I got to mobs that were way above my level, and lots of them, so I went back out and kinda forgot about the place.

I found this hidden in the tutorial start zone.  No use as a weapon -- it really is a Disappointer -- but at least it sells well.

I found this hidden in the tutorial start zone. No use as a weapon — it really is a Disappointer — but at least it sells well.

Now that I’ve figured out more about how the game works and what companions I will be finding (plus when and where) I’ve tried starting out new characters also.  And I tried my hand at “hiring adventurers” to fill slots in the party as well, and found that they’re not like the companions, nor temporary mercenaries — they’re actually you creating a brand new character, so you can round out/balance out your party any way you like with full control over the entire creation process.  When you “hire an adventurer” the level of adventurer you can hire appears to be limited to a level below your own, so you’ll probably want to do it early when that only puts them 1,000 xp behind.  And then there’s the downside that the bigger your party is, the more ways the xp gets split, so it slows down your leveling as well.  IMO, a party of 6 level 3’s is more powerful than a party of 4 level 4’s, though, so I’m not really seeing that as a downside, especially since there seems to be plenty of xp to go around.

Anyway, I’ve also found that you can pick up 2 companions in the starter city, not just the Wizard who’s outside the inn.  I’d talked to the Fighter with my monk, but he just said something and then End Dialogue was the only option, so I didn’t try talking to him again later.   Oops!  Now I know that after you rest the 1st time and then talk to the dead animancer in the hanging tree you can talk to him again and he’ll join you.  Having an actual tank in my monk’s party would have probably made the game a bit easier.  That said… 1st run-through I was playing on Easy level anyway, so it didn’t seem to gimp me, as I feel like I’m doing well with the monk’s group, even with only adding companions as I found them instead of hiring adventurers.  I have learned from reading up a bit more on the game that in the big city that circumstances have now locked me out of, I could have picked up a Paladin as a 2nd tank also.  Which probably would have been kinda nice, but again… I’m doing fine without.

Hanging Trees are quite gruesome.  Glad I've never seen one IRL . . .

Hanging Trees are quite gruesome. Glad I’ve never seen one IRL . . .

From a comment on my previous post and also additional reading about the game (can’t play at work, but I can read about it 😉 ) I’ve found that the recovery speed penalty that armor applies to your ability cooldowns, not to endurance recovery after combat, so you want your dps characters to be in lighter armor so that they can fire off more dps skills faster.  Assuming you have a well-balanced party with a tank or 2 that holds the mob’s “engagement” then your dps characters actually should be just fine with light or no armor, rather than putting everyone in the heaviest armor you can find.  Though in my monk’s group lacking a real tank (monk can take tank skills, but is really more of a dps/tank hybrid) the “everyone go heavy” is still working out ok for me too, so…. take that for what you will.

I’m digging the Rogue class.  I don’t normally like melee dps a whole lot, but with a fighter to hold aggro the sneak attacks the rogue does are a ton of damage, so mobs are simply melting away before the onslaught of my daggers.  I’m even considering letting the monk party languish while I work on a new group with the rogue instead.  Having a fighter, wizard, priest, and rogue by level 3 in the same group makes for a lovely balanced party (plus I could hire 2 adventurers to make it 6 if I wanted) that I don’t have with the monk’s group, so there’s less frustration in the early game this time around.  Time will tell, I suppose.

[PoE] Pillars of Eternity

What's the name of this game again?

What’s the name of this game again?

The confluence of several bloggers singing the praises of Pillars of Eternity, my love for the Baldur’s Gate games, and the fact that it was payday ….. yep, I bought PoE.  I went into it blind — didn’t read up on it or how the controls worked, the classes, races, etc.  Just wanted to figure it out as I went.  And I’ve kinda been on a binge.  According to Steam I’ve got 32 hours under my belt since I 1st began playing on Friday night.  Considering that I’ve slept twice, made meals for the family, played with my daughter, watched some tv with the wife, and also replaced the kitchen faucet that had broken (which included a trip to the store), well… that includes quite a bit of AFK time.  But, I’ve got a full party plus an additional member at my stronghold, and we’re all level 8 now, so I’ve been proceeding just fine.

This was a very tough fight.  Honestly I only won due to the dragon using its breath attack and missing me while killing its own allies with it.  Dumb luck.  But a win's a win.....

This was a very tough fight. Honestly I only won due to the dragon using its breath attack and missing me while killing its own allies with it. Dumb luck. But a win’s a win…..

I like how the difficulty is scaled — which is to say, that it isn’t.  If you see a mob, it will always be the same level as any other mob of the same name.  So that Xaurip (kobold analog) might be a decent fight at level 1 but at level 3 it’s a cakewalk.  Or that level 6 mob might be a tough fight for your full party at level 3, but come back at level 5 and you don’t even bother to use spells, just weapon it down.  It’s also kinda fun to be stomping over all the mobs in a map, then go into a cave or dungeon and find out that…. oh yeah, it’s a LOT harder in here…..

Anyway, it’s a similar ruleset to D&D, but there are enough differences that I kinda wish I hadn’t necessarily gone in blind.  Here are a few of the things I’ve figured out:

The effects are quite nice.

The effects are quite nice.

Some quite nice graphics overall

Some quite nice graphics overall

The Health vs Endurance dichotomy is stated in the game, but seems like it’s not terribly well explained.  Essentially you have a decently sized Health pool, and then a smaller Endurance pool.  In any given fight, your Endurance is what matters and would be what most games would call “Hit Points.”  If Endurance drops to zero, the character drops and is out of the fight until it’s over, but (assuming your side wins) after the fight the Endurance automatically fills up again.  Damage taken is simultaneously applied to the Health pool as well.  Dropping to 0 Endurance is simply a “KO” but typically a character’s Health pool is 2x – 6x larger than their Endurance, so you can actually go through several fights, even sustaining multiple KO’s before needing to rest.  Resting is the only way to restore Health.  All the healing spells restore Endurance, not Health.  And once your Health gets low enough, your Endurance drops too, so that’s something to keep an eye on.

  • Everyone’s a tank.  Sort of.  Everyone can use any armor without restriction, regardless of class, so there’s really no reason that I can see to not wear the heaviest armor possible.  The “penalty” is slightly slower health regen out of combat after battle.  Or so it says.  From what I can tell it’s quite rapid no matter what and I don’t see any difference between heavily armored and light-armored.  So … go as heavy as you can as fast as you can.
  • Everyone can also use any weapon.  Nothing says that the Wizard can’t be on the front line in plate armor with a 2H sword.  Sure he’s got fewer endurance points and could be prone to interrupt, so you probably want him in the back with a wand, but he *could* do melee if you wanted.  Still and all, only the Ranger really seems to be fully range focused.  The other class’s spells and abilities are often melee or close-range.  Or rays that will do friendly fire if you’re behind your own people so you might as well be up in melee anyway.  Plus if everyone’s grouped up then your buffs from the chanter, cipher, and/or priest will get everyone too.  Of course if the mobs are tossing AE’s then there’s a problem….
  • Fast mode is your friend.  You always travel in stealth mode and that slows you down a bit, but putting the game into fast mode (default D key) just makes you move faster.  None of the maps are especially big, but when you’re making multiple runs back and forth across a big city, it helps to go faster.  And in a dungeon it makes the delve go quicker too, so why not?  You can set combat to automatically go into slow mode to keep it from being too frenetic, so… for me, anyway — fast to move, slow to fight.
  • The Might attribute at character creation affects all damage and healing done, whether it be magical or physical, so *every* class needs as much Might as possible, even if the game doesn’t put a nifty star next to it.  High Constitution is also good to have more HP, but considering at level 8 my monk with his “very high” class-based health and a 15 CON has 169 HP, and my wizard with his “very low” class-based health and a 12 CON has 129 HP, so the spread’s really not that big.  The other attributes mostly seem concerned with defensive bonuses, so they’re definitely important, but overall it seems that Might > all others, regardless of class.

Classes seem to go along these lines:

  • Fighter — High health, regens endurance in combat naturally.
  • Barbarian — High health, does AE melee damage on any hit
  • Paladin — Uses auras to buff himself and the group
  • Monk — Unarmed fighter.  As he’s hit he uses the power from the wound to power special attacks.  Unarmed damage increases every 3 levels, so at level 1 might want to use a weapon, but after 4, unarmed is the way to go.
  • Wizard — Primarily damage spells.  Friendly fire is possible with many, so wizards need to pay attention to what they’re doing.
  • Druid — Primarily an offensive spellcaster, though with more buffs for the group than a wizard.  When shapeshifted is pretty impressive at melee too.
  • Chanter — Automatically chants when in battle.  Chants last 6 seconds (4 duration, plus 2 seconds of lingering effect after the next phrase begins) and have various offense or defense bonuses depending on which phrases you include in your chants.  A chanter that hangs back with the ranged folk might chant the marksman rate of fire chant, where one that’s on the front lines might chant enemy defuffs and melee defense for the group.  Also has spells (primarily utility) that are powered by the phrases of the chants, so they can only be cast every 8-12 seconds, usually.
  • Cipher — Has a bit of direct damage, but is primarily a debuffer.  Powers its spells with “focus” which it builds up as it attacks mobs with weapon attacks.
  • Priest — Spells are mostly buffs and heals.  A few attack spells here and there.
  • Rogue — Stabbity death!  Gets lots of damage from the Sneak Attack mechanic, and pretty much if it’s focused on someone else, you get the sneaks!
  • Ranger — Has a companion to be a tank pet for you, though it can fold in a hurry vs more than 1 mob.  Class skills buffs the pet or increase your damage, but at level 8 I’ve still got the same 2 skills on my bar as I did at level 3 when she joined the party, so not a complex class at all.  Stand in the back and shoot…..

So anyway… not mentioning the story since I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but overall it’s a big thumbs up from me.

New Year, New Toon, New Guild (Well sort of)!!!

Well the Holidays are finally over and now its time to focus back on the important things in life…EVERQUEST 2!!!!!!!!

I have been tinkering around with my 3 main toons and getting them leveled and tradeskilled up, its been a long and sometimes boring process. I am more of a solo player vs the group aspect of the game, dont get me wrong i love the occasional group or raid to get the blood flowing, but 98% of the time i am solo. I feel that being solo i can work at my own pace, if i want to stare at a mob and work out some strategy before jumping in i can, in a group thats not so easy, espically if you have someone like i use to be they see a mob and RUN straight for it and pull everything in site…hehe (done that one too many time) !!

But since the New Year is here i have taken a break from my older toons and made room for a new toon on the same old server but in a different new but old guild for me, i know that sounds confusing, so i’ll explain.

See i was once part of the Looony Toons guild in Crushbone , one of the founding fathers so to speak, well after sometime i was growing boried with the role of a leader and wanted to be lead, had alot of things going on in my RL that was affecting my EQ2 life, so i made a decision to step down and leave the guild to look for a more raiding guild, at the time all i wanted to do was raid and get the uber gear and become a ledgend.

Yes, i made a new home and fell in love with my guildies who have been the best friends a person could ask for in game and out of game. i still felt like i have had a peice missing from me, so on Monday i made a deciosion to create a new toon and tag him back into the old guild that i came from and work with them for a while. Now for anyone who is in the guild i am in now, dont worry – Chubby, Cinder, Kuzab and the other 2 alts are not leaving the guild, i just needed a change of pace and visit some old friends for a while, i will still be on my older toons and getting them where they need to be but i will also be working on this new toon and guild to help get them to GL 90. Just spreading the love guys !!

I have been very impressed with Looony Toons the last couple nights, last night they had over 20 players on for a majority of the night, it was great i havent seen that in a guild in a long long time and felt proud that i was at one point in my life that i helped create this guild, they have done so much ove the last couple years and have built the guild into a strong force for the citizens of Norrath. Also i didn’t releize this till last night that i created and join this new / old guild on the guilds Anniversay, so ironically one of the Founding Fathers returns on the night that the guild was origionally created serveral years ago!! 🙂

Anyways, alot is going on and i am here to partake in the fun festivities and get a new toon off the ground and into a raiding guild as this is what they have developed into again another ironic thing i have found, i left to goto a raiding guild that fell from raiding to create a new toon to go to my old guild who is now Raiding!! Lost yet!!

So the next post i have with my update progress should not be so confusing, the new toon is a ShadowKnight, since i just love the pure raw abilities of the SK class,and he is sitting at lvl 16 with about 12 AA’s, i am in the process of becoming a citizen of Freeport as i feel that Neirek is just too confusing to be able to raise a new toon. So if your on Crushbone look for Chubbers the Kerra SK, i’m sure you’ll see me around, hit me up for a PUG or just to chat.

Until next time, Happy Hunting in Norrath or where ever you call home!!!

~Chubbylilbuddy / Cinderbella / Kuzab / Chubbers / Wonderboyz / Kryptonion / Chubetta~

Classic Adventure Gaming: Gobliiins!

Exciting news from Grand Old Games today that made me nostalgic for the old days of adventure gaming. In the early 90s Sierra released a game from Coktel Vision called Gobliiins! and after its success two more in the same world. All three are now up on as a package for $5.99, and if you enjoy point and click adventure games they are well worth the price.

Adventure games are typically puzzle solvers in the vein of Zork or the King’s Quest series. You play a character traveling a worldmap made of squares, collecting items and using them to solve puzzles and advance the game. Gobliiins distinguishes itself by adding another dynamic to this, multiple characters that have different abilities. In the first game you control three goblins, each able to interact with the environment in different and often highly amusing ways.

The story is this: King Angoulafre of the goblins has gone frothing mad. A potion can be made to cure him, but only by the missing goblin wizard Niak. Your team has to venture from the goblin lands into the wide world to search for the wizard and cure the king. From this simple story comes a game filled with humor and fun that I spent alot of time on in my middle school years.

The second game in the series continued this theme and brought more laughs and more difficulty for veterans of the first. Your two characters Fingus and Winkle travel across fantastic lands and into the ocean depths to find the castle of the demon Amoniak. The demon has stolen the Prince Buffoon you see, and you are the rescue squad. New to the second game is a limited hint system to balance out the difficulty and many more scenes.

If you enjoyed Space Quest or King’s Quest and are in the mood for some humor give these games a try. You won’t regret it, take my word for it. Here’s hoping that GoG can  license more of the Sierra catalog, and perhaps branch out to Lucas Arts titles as well! A little time traveling mayhem from Day of the Tentacle would make an excellent companion to today’s goblish buffoonery.