Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

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Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by IJBall » January 9th, 2009, 11:54 am

OVERVIEW

With a New Year upon us, and Book II going into beta testing in the next few months (and v1.05 of Book I out shortly!), I thought I'd report on what I've found playing all five character classes in Eschalon: Book I.

Yep, I played this game pretty much straight from September through near the end of December, taking the time to play all the way through with all five character classes (and then, at the end, playing two or three "special" classes - more on these in this separate topic...).

So I have a number of thoughts on the game, from the perspective of each character class. (From what I've seen, Healer is the least 'played' class, and I saved the review/walkthrough of that one for last (and have a lot to say about it), if anyone's interested…)

What follows is a look at each of the character classes, one by one…

WARNING: This is *long*, but pretty in-depth I think!
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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by IJBall » January 9th, 2009, 12:00 pm

RANGER

Destroyer #1:

Image

Challenge Game type: None.

I started, way back in August, playing my favorite class, the Ranger (Agnostic Ranger, to be more specific), when I first started playing Eschalon: Book I. In fact, I tried playing Ranger, twice! giving up both times because I bungled the execution of those characters, a frustration I shared back in this topic.

Unfortunately, I don't have any screenshots from those two aborted efforts, but what I learned from those experiences was simple - Eschalon is not a game that rewards breadth, Eshcalon is a game that rewards depth.

The mistake I made the first time through, and even the second, is that you can't spread skills & attributes points around (at least, not early on). Especially in my first Ranger game, when I went through the character creation process, I tried to start off all eight Attribute stats at around 15 (or better), and I gave myself every skill I could with my 20 skill points - Bows (a given for Rangers), but also Swords, Light Armor, Dodge (a skill I soon after abandoned picking, until a recent experiment - see: this), Pick Locks, Move Silently and Spot Hidden - all at roughly about Level 1 in each. (Note: First time through, I wasn't even smart enough to give myself Hide in Shadows!)

Not smart.

So what made the third run-through of Ranger a success? Simple, I took the advice I was given and focused on Dexterity (almost exclusively) in Attributes, and mostly Bows (and Armor) in Skills.

I also took my own advice, and played Druidic axiom for faster Hit Point (and Mana) regeneration for my Ranger. While I now don't think you "need" to play Druidic if you set up your Ranger properly at the start, Ranger is the one class (along with probably Mage) where I think being Druidic really does help more than it hurts or is a net 'neutral'.

I don’t remember the details, but I think this was roughly how I began my finally successful Ranger (Therish) character (approximate stats at the start of the game are shown first, for Attributes):

Attributes, at start:
STR: 12 -> 21
DEX: 30 (14+1+15) -> 35
END: 14 -> 25
SPD: 10 -> 15
INT: 11 -> 15
WIS: 10 -> 15
PER: 11 -> 15
CON: 15 (13+2) -> 15

Skills, at start:
Lt. Armor: Lvl. 1
Hide in Shadows: Lvl. 1
Move Silently: Lvl. 1
Pick Locks: Lvl. 1
Bow: Lvl. 6 (-> Lvl. 16)
Swords: Lvl. 1 (-> Lvl. 16)

Skills such as Cartography, Alchemy, the two magic types, and up to Level 5 in Swords, were purchased later, as I pretty much do now with several skills in all the games I play. Other skills, like Mercantile, were obtained from training books (and, in the case of Mercantile, added to with later level-ups). I also added Heavy Armor later, focusing on that towards the end of the game.

And this is how things ended up:

Image

Image

Not bad. ;)

My conception of Ranger is always as a "mix" Fighter/magic user character, and that's how I played ol' Karni III here. I did hold off on spellcasting abilities until I could buy them in Blackwater. And they weren’t the focus here (note the relatively low # of Mana Points), especially offensive spells, which is why I only took Divination & Elemental magic to Level 8. But, with any character for which you intend to use magic for, get Predator Sight, Cat's Eyes, Divine Heal, Air Shield, and possibly Bless (and Detox), as soon as you can - you won't regret it!

But couple of thoughts, in general, about this, and my other characters - while the Amulet of Accuracy is very helpful early on (esp. for Rangers), getting the Ranger Lord's Mithril Bracers *and* a Ring of the Assassin, and then imbuing the Recurved Composite Great Bow to +3 makes you pretty much unstoppable as a Ranger - as CrazyBennie has said elsewhere, when hitting *everything*, even Tauraxes, is at ToHit 98%, this game starts to be get into "cakewalk" territory.

Which I guess brings up a point - this game is pretty challenging, until you get the loot that starts showing up towards the end of the game. When you combine a +5 ToHit Ring of the Assassin with a +5 ToHit Ranger Lord's Mithril Bracers, on top of a +3 ToHit Amulet of Accuracy (or even a +2 ToHit Bloodlust Amulet), it's possible that this is maybe more ToHit bonus than should be allowed from a gameplay standpoint.

Something for BW & co. to mull over for Book II…

SUMMARY:
Don't spread skill & attribute points around - especially early on, focus on a few key skills & attributes (which would be Bows & Dexterity for Rangers) as the best way to play Eschalon. Buy as many skills (e.g. Cartography, Alchemy, etc.) as you can, to save your level-up skill points for other things. Druidic is the best choice for Rangers. Hide in Shadows is a very good Ranger (and Rogue) skill. Allowing for the accumulation of rings/amulets with high ToHit bonuses may be making this game too easy in later gameplay.
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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by IJBall » January 9th, 2009, 12:06 pm

FIGHTER

Destroyer #2:

Image

Challenge Game type: :) No Magic. (Provided the Level 1 "Bless" spell that comes with Virtuous axiom doesn't count!)

When I became frustrated with my Ranger attempts back in September, I decided to move on to the Fighter character. (And, yes, there was a Mugile I, and he worked out fine - Mugile II was more of a 'fine-tuning' of that, with an even greater focus on Endurance and Heavy Armor.)

One thing I tend to do with Fighter is choose the "Virtuous" axiom as the free Level 1 "Bless" spell improves any ToHit roll by 3%, and, early on, every little bit helps in playing a melee fighting class like Fighter.

What I did I learn from my Fighter game? That if you play Fighter correctly, Eschalon is a relative breeze - with enough Hit Points, and high levels in Armor, and Swords (leading to good ToHit and MaxDamage stats), Fighters can plow through pretty much anything.

I don’t have much else to add to this, except to say that I am very likely to play Book II as a Fighter in my first run-through, as I think it's the best, and most painless, way to play this kind of game.

Again, I don’t remember the details, but I think this was how I began my Fighter (Nor'lander) character (approximate stats at the start of the game are shown first, for Attributes):

Attributes, at start:
STR: 14 -> 26 (24+2)
DEX: 12 -> 25
END: 31 (14+2+15) -> 40
SPD: 8 -> 15
INT: 10 -> 15
WIS: 10 -> 13
PER: 11 -> 15
CON: 12 (11+1) -> 15

Note that my initial stats of STR=14 & END=31 gave me an initial 76 Hit Points! When you starts off a Level 1 character with 76 Hit Points, the initial gameplay, even going up again mid-level "monsters" like Thugs, become much more manageable.

Skills, at start:
Lt. Armor: Lvl. 1
Hide in Shadows: Lvl. 1
Spot Hidden: Lvl. 1 (I'm not sure about this one - I may have either gone with Move Silently, or gone Lvl. 2 in Bows, Lt. Armor & Hide in Shadows instead)
Pick Locks: Lvl. 1
Bow: Lvl. 1 (-> Lvl. 18)
Swords: Lvl. 6 (-> Lvl. 20)

I added Heavy Armor by about Level 3 or 4.

As before with the Ranger, skills like Alchemy, Cartography, Bows (to Level 5), and Cleaving Weapons were purchased, and other skills like Mercantile were obtained with training books.

And this is how things ended up:

Image

Image

Once again, when you combine a +5 ToHit Ring of the Assassin with a +5 ToHit Ranger Lord's Mithril Bracers, on top of a +2 ToHit Bloodlust Amulet, and then add in Level 12 Heavy Armor and 250+ Hit Points, and you're pretty unstoppable.

Note: This is the only character I've played where I actually found two Rings of the Assassin (though I did it by "rerolling" chests/loot all through the game [blush]), so I actually could have gone from +12 ToHit (and +20 Hit Points), to +17 ToHit if I wanted to!!

SUMMARY:
Getting initial Attributes of STR=14 & END=31 gives you a starting Fighter character with 76 Hit Points, and starting with a high # of Hit Points is crucial to a melee character class like Fighter. A good way to "soup up" Fighters is to choose the Virtuous axiom, as it gives you the free Bless spell, improving your ToHit melee fighting by 3%. For Fighters, the focus needs to be on the Sword (or Cleaving or Bludgeoning) skill and the Endurance attribute (for Hit Points, and Hit Point regeneration). The Fighter is a good solid class - I expect to start out Book II playing one.

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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by IJBall » January 9th, 2009, 12:13 pm

MAGE (Elemental Magic)

Destroyer #3:

Image

Challenge Game type: :) Pure Mage./ :cry: Lover, not a Fighter. (At least in spirit, if not by the letter, of it - I may have used the dagger once or twice in melee, but more for testing purposes than anything, and I used offensive spells likely >99.5% of the time when fighting.)

After (actually, it was partly during) tackling Fighter, I wanted to finally play using a magic-using class. So I went with Elemental Mage (once again Druidic, for many of the same reasons I played Druidic Ranger).

I think this was how my (Rifter) Mage character started off (approximate stats at the start of the game are shown first, for Attributes):

Attributes, at start:
STR: 12 -> 12
DEX: 12 -> 13
END: 13 -> 15
SPD: 8 -> 10
INT: 15 (14+1) -> 34 (30+4)
WIS: 12 (11+1) -> 17
PER: 30 (14+2+14) -> 39 (35+4)
CON: 10 -> 12

With these stats, I started off with about 75 Mana Points.

Skills, at start:
Arcane, Elemental: Lvl. 6 (-> Lvl. 30(+3))
Lt. Armor: Lvl. 1 (-> Lvl. 7)
Hide in Shadows: Lvl. 1 (-> Lvl. 4(+3))
Meditation: Lvl. 1 (I'm not sure about this one - but I think I started off with Meditation…)
Pick Locks: Lvl. 1
Short Bladed: Lvl. 1

Through purchasing and skillbooks, I later added Alchemy, Cartography, Mercantile, Swords and Bludgeoning Weapons (the latter two which I never used), and Divination magic (though only through Level 7 (Level 10, with the Priest's Cloak)).

In the end, this is how my Mage played out:

Image

Image

If anything, the Mage may have been even easier play-through than Fighter.

Casting up to a Level 3 Fire Dart right off the bat pretty much allows you to kill almost anything (with a 'one-hit'!) you come in contact with early in the game. By the time you start coming across Thugs, a Mage character is probably up to casting Level 4-5 Fire Darts, and possibly Level 1-3 Fireballs, so you're pretty much set. Later on, when you come up against Tauraxes, either Fireball, Deep Freeze, or even Supernova, spells usually do the trick (especially when you're up to 200 Mana Points!).

While most "higher level" monsters like Tauraxes do succeed in "saving" against Elemental attacks more often, they successfully "save" against Elemental attacks no more than 50% of the time (and often, much less than that - more like 33% of the time).

In other words, it's easy to play a Mage character like this as exclusively spell-casting, with no melee skills needed.

By the time I was finished with my Mage, I had gotten my Elemental magic and Intelligence high enough that I could cast 'Tier Three' spells to Level 6. (If you're wondering, you need something on the order of Level 33 Elemental and INT=33 [edit: scratch that last part - you only need INT=20 to read Tier 3 Mage spells, but you don't need any particular level in INT to cast Tier 2 or 3 Mage spells; and apparently you only need to be at Elemental Level=31 to cast Tier 3 Spells at Level 6, not Level 33 as I indicated...] to accomplish that…)

In fact, when I did the "Destroyer" challenge with this character, I made sure that I used no potions, outside of the Mana restore and the Fortified Mana potions, so I did my Destroyer purely with (Level 6!) Supernova and Fireball spells. And it was easily doable with this Mage character.

Which is why I've chosen not to play Book II with a Mage first - I'm actually afraid it will be too easy that way!

But there is definitely something a little 'off' about the spell power balancing between Mage and Healer (more on this below)…

SUMMARY:
Mage may be the "easiest" character class to play, at least in my opinion - effectively, you need no melee skills with Mage characters. The focus needs to be on Elemental magic skill, and Perception (then, later, Intelligence) attributes. Druidic is likely the best choice for Mages, as it is for Rangers. Monsters don't "save" as well against Elemental attacks. It is easily possible to gain "Destroyer" ranking simply through spell-casting (& Mana potions) alone as a Mage.
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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by IJBall » January 9th, 2009, 12:20 pm

ROGUE

Destroyer #4:

Image

Challenge Game type: :) No Magic.

After the Mage, I decided to try Rogue, and concentrate on a character with skills like Skullduggery.

If I recall, this is how I started my (Therish) Rogue - a class I was obviously going to go with the Nefarious axiom! ;) (approximate stats at the start of the game are shown first, for Attributes):

Attributes, at start:
STR: 12 -> 21(19+2)
DEX: 30 (14+1+15) -> 42
END: 14 -> 20
SPD: 9 -> 15
INT: 12 -> 16
WIS: 10 -> 15
PER: 8 -> 13 (10+3)
CON: 13 (11+2) -> 15

Skills, at start:
Lt. Armor: Lvl. 2 (-> Lvl. 11)
Hide in Shadows: Lvl. 1 (-> Lvl. 8(+3))
Move Silently: Lvl. 1
Pick Locks: Lvl. 1 (-> Lvl. 6)
Bow: Lvl. 5 (-> Lvl. 12(+2))
Cleaving Weapons: Lvl. 1 (-> Lvl. 10)

I added some of the other "key" Rogue skills like Skullduggery and Spot Hidden fairly early on. Skills such as Cartography, Alchemy, Mercantile, and up to Level 5 in Cleaving Weapons, were purchased later on.

And this is how things ended up:

Image

Image

Starting off with Level 5 bow skills made the Rogue pretty easy to manage even early on - I didn't have any real issues, because I took after most everything I came across with a 'ranged' attack (or "softened up" with a 'ranged' attack before going melee with my axe).

In terms of Rogue "skills", the +3 Pick Locks and +3 Skullduggery gloves made those two skills pretty usable. Add in the +3 Hide in Shadows cloak, and you have the items that every Rogue pretty much needs to have.

That said, this brings up a problem I have with Rogues (and Mages too) - the fact that there is no reason to ever play with the Short Bladed Weapons skill! (And, yes, this is a common complaint on these boards.) Why? Because there's no particular "bonus" to be had from them! You would think in the hands of a Rogue that there would be the "special" possibility of, say, being able to kill an opponent/monster with one stroke using a Dagger - but no such luck in this game. As a result, Short Bladed weapons give much lower MaxDamage ratings than Swords or Cleaving or Bludgeoning Weapons, without anything to compensate for it. So there's zero reason for Rogues, or even Mages (or anyone else, for that matter) to go with Short Bladed Weapons over, say, Swords.

I hope this issue is revised for Book II.

The other thing I was slightly disappointed by was the "Nefarious" axiom. Again, you think "Nefarious" means that you'll maybe have a chance to One-Hit/Kill (higher level) monsters - no dice here either. The way Nefarious works is exactly the same way a 'Critical Hit' works. It's just that, with Nefarious, you have a chance of 'Critical Hitting' or you have a chance of a "Nefarious Attack" (I don't think I ever saw an instance of getting both in a single attack, though I might be wrong about that…) on the same attack - so, basically, you double your chance of 'Critical Hitting'. Don't get me wrong - that's not bad, in terms of benefits. But, I dunno - maybe it's me, but I was hoping for something a little more out of 'Nefarious' axiom than that.

Lastly, I should note that the Rogue character is the one time I definitely "cheated" while playing. Yes, not only did I reload on all of my chests/loot (come on! he's a Rogue! I'm not just going to settle for an Oil and 8 Gold pieces out of that locked chest!), but I also used the Char File/quicksave trick to "duplicate" the Purest Water so I could pick up a couple of extra Skill Points in a level-up (I think I did that around Level 12 or so). To my credit, I didn't "duplicate" the Easter eggs to use more than once - but I always wanted to see what the Purest Water does if you drink it, and I didn't want to do that until I completed the "tree" quest. So sue me!! ;)

The result of all of this was that my Rogue ended up being my richest (pure) character (in terms of Gold coins) at the end of the game.

SUMMARY:
Rogues have a reputation of being the hardest character class to play, but that's not what I found (Healer gets my vote for that) - as long as you beef up on Bows & Dexterity at the beginning of the game, Rogues are definitely playable. Nefarious axiom is not as much of a benefit as I had hoped. Rogues get no benefit playing Short Bladed Weapons (in fact, no character class does! - there's no point in even getting Short Bladed Weapons as a skill!). Oh, and cheating does pay. :shock:

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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by IJBall » January 9th, 2009, 12:27 pm

HEALER (Divination Magic)

Destroyer #5:

Image

Challenge Game type: None.

And, lastly, after tackling all the other classes, I had to play Healer class, especially so I could compare its gameplay to the other magic-using class, Mage.

I played Virtuous Healer (to give me the one additional "free" Bless spell at the beginning of the game, aside from the pre-provided Fleshboil spell), and I think this was how my (Rifter) Healer character started off (approximate stats at the start of the game are shown first, for Attributes):

Attributes, at start:
STR: 12 -> 13
DEX: 8 -> 10
END: 13 -> 13
SPD: 10 -> 10
INT: 12 -> 17
WIS: 15 (14+1) -> 37 (35+2)
PER: 31 (14+2+15) -> 40 (38+2)
CON: 12 -> 15

With these stats, I started off with only about 72 Mana Points - that's right! even for Healers, it looks like the number of initial Mana Points is based off your Perception and your Intelligence, not your Wisdom!

Skills, at start:
Arcane, Divination: Lvl. 6 (-> Lvl. 33(+3))
Lt. Armor: Lvl. 1 (-> Lvl. 7)
Hide in Shadows: Lvl. 1 (-> Lvl. 4(+3))
Meditation: Lvl. 1 (I'm not sure about this one - but I think I started off with Meditation again…)
Bows: Lvl. 1 (I'm not sure about this one - I may have added Bows after Level 1 but before Level 5…)
Swords: Lvl. 1

Through purchasing and skillbooks, I later added Alchemy, Cartography, Mercantile, Heavy Armor, Cleaving and Thrown Weapons, Bows & Swords (through Level 5), and Elemental magic (to Level 7, then after level-ups to Level 11 (Level 14, with a Grand Master Wizard's Hat)).

In the end, this is how my Healer played out:

Image

Image

Out of all the character classes, I was most disappointed with the Healer class.

Why? Well part of it may be that I tried to play the Healer the same way I played the Mage - as an offensive spellcaster.

Turns out, playing Healer as an offensive spellcaster doesn't work very well. Why? Because while Fleshboil (Tier 1 spell) has a decent chance of success against even relatively high level monsters (you can almost kill Thugs with high enough level Fleshboil spells without needing a melee attack, and you can take some hit points off Tauraxes before you have to melee attack them), you can forget about Sunder Flesh (Tier 2 spell) and Smite (Tier 3 spell) spells working much!

That's right - no matter how high in Divination level I was, and no matter how high my Wisdom was, Sunder Flesh and Smite spells failed more than 50% of the time. Which means, against high level monsters like Tauraxes, they're useless (and, meanwhile, they burn through too many Mana Points to make them worthwhile against lower level monsters).

I'm guessing, from a gameplay standpoint, this is because monsters are saving vs. Magic against Healer spells, rather than saving vs. Elements as they do with most Elemental Mage spells. Well, there's clearly an imbalance here, as this totally hobbles Healers offensive spell capabilities. In fact, from my experience, you might as well not even bother getting Sunder Flesh or Smite as spells, as they do you pretty much no good at all.

In general, I found a number of the Healer spells to be somewhere between problematic to almost useless:

Poison Spray - The few times I tried it, it failed against monsters rendering it pretty useless.

Sunder Flesh - As stated above, I found it failed around 50% of the time against mid-level monsters, and >50% of the time against higher-level monsters, rendering it pretty useless as an offensive spell.

Turn Undead - Effective at lower level casting in making skeletons runs way; effective at higher level casting at inflicting damage on skeletons (but uses more Mana Points than Fleshboil which is just as effective at damaging skeltons(?!? - why does Fleshboil work on skeletons & poltergeists?!), so you're better off using Fleshboil). Meanwhile, I found this spell pretty ineffective against poltergeists - with poltergeists, Healers are better off using the Fleshboil spell. Bottom line: Mage's Compress Atmosphere spell is much more effective against poltergeists than the Turn Undead spell, and to my thinking that is *backwards* from the way it should be.

Smite - Even more ineffective than Sunder Flesh: fails >50% of the time. Pretty much useless against monsters like Tauraxes, and it should be the spell that's most effective against them IMHO.

Dehex - Ah, Dehex! Perhaps the most frustrating spell of all! It's a Tier Three spell, right? OK, well, the only time you need Dehex is going up against poltergeists, as poltergeists are the only thing that can inflict curses. And, playing a Virtuous Healer, my character was particularly susceptible to curses. Well, guess what? - ONLY DEHEX CAST AT LEVEL 6 REMOVES ANY CURSES! Believe me, I tested this - a Level 5 Dexex did not remove my curse after multiple tries. The problem here is that to cast a Tier Three spell at Level 6, you need Level 33 Divination and WIS=33!! [edit: scratch that last part - you only need WIS=20 to read Tier 3 spell scrolls, but you don't need higher WIS to cast spells at all; also, you only need to be as Divination Level=31 to cast Tier 3 spells at Level 6, not Divination=33 as I indicated before]. These are very difficult levels to achieve, and burn through many Mana Points!! - All of this renders Dehex a seriously flawed spell IMO.

What did I learn from all this?

Well, two things:

1. Healers should probably be played as defensive spell casters (i.e. focusing in on Divine Heal, Detox, Cure Disease, and possibly spells like Turn Undead, Nimbleness and Stoneskin), and offensive melee fighters. This seems odd to me, to play a magic-user as a melee fighter, but this is what I was forced to do in later levels with my Healer character - beef up on Swords and Bows - to make up for the fact that spells like Sunder Flesh and Smite basically did not work.

2. A number of the Divination spells, especially Sunder Flesh, Smite and Dehex, appear to be flawed, and need to be reworked. Either that, or monsters' save vs. Magic (and/or save vs. Elements?) stats need to be reworked. (Comparatively, the only Elemental spells that I've never really used are Dancing Lights and Sonic Blast - I've had occasion to use all of the other Elemental spells, and they all worked as advertised. Basically: Elemental magic is better than Divination magic.)

This is something that I hope BW and co. look closely at in putting together Book II.

(Ironically, the Healer character class would work perfectly as a primarily defensive spellcaster, if Eschalon were a 'party-based' game like Ultima III rather than an 'individual hero-based' game. Which, of course, it isn't! :wink: )
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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by IJBall » January 9th, 2009, 12:48 pm

And there you have it!

I hope some people find this (and this) useful for playing Book I, or even Book II!!

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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by BasiliskWrangler » January 9th, 2009, 2:55 pm

: EPIC POST :

We'll begin looking over all these notes- there's much here that can be used to balance Book II.

Thank you!
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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by Unclever title » January 9th, 2009, 10:17 pm

This pretty much mirrors my own experience, though I don't think I've had quite the same success staying as a "pure" class. I always give up on offensive spells as a healer.

I once made an Atheistic healer or "Sawbones" (rendering Bless/Dehex useless/unneeded) who wore heavy armor and beat enemies with his fists. But that was back before I had bought the full version and I don't remember much. I probably saved over his file at some point.
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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by woem » February 19th, 2009, 7:48 am

Thanks for this amazing write-up IJBall, it has helped my a lot during my first games as a ranger and a rogue. I'm wondering one thing about your mage character though: even at level 16 you only have 3 points in medition. This means that even with 200 mana points and the druidic path you must be running out of mana points pretty quickly. How do you recover you mana points after each encounter? Do you rest after each fight until you're full again? Do you buy/craft a whole bunch of mana potions? Do you avoid combat from time to time by hiding in shadows and sneaking past enemies?

I'm finding myself in pretty much the same situation as described by a lot of people in the thread about spell costs being too high. The only "solution" I found is to rest after one or two encounters and that totally kills the tension for me. So I'm wondering how you dealt with mana shortage.

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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by IJBall » February 19th, 2009, 9:35 am

woem wrote:Thanks for this amazing write-up IJBall, it has helped my a lot during my first games as a ranger and a rogue.
Cool! Glad it helped someone! :)
woem wrote:I'm wondering one thing about your mage character though: even at level 16 you only have 3 points in medition. This means that even with 200 mana points and the druidic path you must be running out of mana points pretty quickly. How do you recover you mana points after each encounter? Do you rest after each fight until you're full again? Do you buy/craft a whole bunch of mana potions? Do you avoid combat from time to time by hiding in shadows and sneaking past enemies?

I'm finding myself in pretty much the same situation as described by a lot of people in the thread about spell costs being too high. The only "solution" I found is to rest after one or two encounters and that totally kills the tension for me. So I'm wondering how you dealt with mana shortage.
To be honest, Woem, I don't remember 'Mana shortage' being much of an issue. (As an aside, though, I am still wondering how I only had 200 MP with my Mage, but 250 MP with my Healer! Weird!!)

Anyway, as I recall, I tended to use the Fire Dart spells at Levels 2, 4 & 6 predominantly with my Mage, so I usually was OK on the MP score. Now, up against Tauraxes, I'm pretty sure that I did go more for Level 4 or 6 Fireballs or Deep Freezes (going back to Fire Darts towards the end of any fight), and that did burn through Mana quickly enough that I often had to do my 'diagonal runaway' trick in encounters with multiple Tauraxes.

But with Druidic axiom, and the very high Perception score, MP regenerate either 1 per turn (or, at worst, something like 1 MP every other turn), so you'd only need to run around for 200-400 turns before full Mana was restored.

I learned from this board early on that MP and MP regeneration come from the combination of Perception + Meditation, and that you get far more 'bang for your buck' in putting all your Attribute points into Perception, and all your Skill points... into something besides Meditation! (The same is true for Fighters - it's Endurance + Survival, but you get more 'bang for your buck' with Endurance, though Survival, at least, has the added benefit of improving your Resistance stats in more "key" stats IMO than Meditation does.)

Anyway, long story short - as far as most people can see, Meditation doesn't give you very much benefit, and you're better off with a Mage focusing on Perception (and Intelligence), and putting Skill points elsewhere (like into Elemental). :mrgreen:

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woem
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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by woem » February 20th, 2009, 3:38 am

Letting go of meditation definitely helps. I save each time I'm ready to level up so I loaded that latest save game and instead of putting more points in meditation (I already have 20 at level 6 or 7) I can concentrate on Arcane Elemental and Alchemy (which is almost at 15 now with the Brewmaster's Ring). I was always keeping my mana potions for "when it was really necessary" while I had about 3000 gp sitting there doing nothing. So now I'm timing my spells well, I use some home-made demon oils to save up on mana points and to buy me some extra time and I'm wisely using my stock of mana potions.

Before your post I thought mana points were the only resource I had to manage for a mage, while in fact it's mana points, mana potions and demon oil. I now went through a certain roguish cave without having to resort to camping! I think this might be my first Destroyer character, fingers crossed. :)

Thanks a lot!

Zerikin
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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by Zerikin » February 23rd, 2009, 7:52 pm

Nice write up. I'm on my first play through as a "paladin". I started as a healer and have been emphasizing str and weapons as much as magic. Fully buffed up with divine and ele spells the thrauk guys in the dessert have about a 10% chance to hit me. I'm just starting to put some points into heavy armor having left it at 1 most of the game so far. I'll report back with how it works out.

hedgewitch
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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by hedgewitch » February 28th, 2009, 1:29 pm

Many thanks for a very helpful post. I had completely given up on my Ranger, and your tips on how to focus stat and skill points clarify a lot of concerns I've been having with my mage. I now feel confident I can go back and try again with my favorite class (Ranger.)

Solberg
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Re: Destroyer, x5! - Review/Walkthrough: The 5 Character Classes

Post by Solberg » November 19th, 2019, 3:51 pm

hello i can't see any of your images

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