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Carefully with the Dragon Helm upgrade...I don't say it's bad, just careful. The upgraded helmet cannot be worn by rangers for example (Vagrant included).

 

Heh, the fight to save Auriel is intended to be won without the "maze" trick. BTW no one knew about the trick until recently I've discovered it, and yet they somehow managed to beat that quest so far. But it requires tons of Heal spamming. Probably one of the quests which force you to pick Cernd with his Natural Restorals. As I said, neither clever nor fair. That quest simply states :"Take Cernd and reload a bit, or go without him and reload a lot, but you WILL reload!". Well, obviously someone missed something :) BTW Auriel is immune to Imprisonment...but not to Maze :)

 

Edit: Don't wanna disappoint you, but 5.8 mil and 500k gold are insufficient. Especially the latter...it's practically nothing. 2 important upgrades and poof! no more gold.

Edited by Saros

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Ah, did not know that about the helm. I didn't plan to use it on the Vagrant anyways (he'll max out elemental resistance anyways), but worth considering thanks.

 

I don't have the slightest idea how that battle could be won without Maze (I looked for some Otiluke's Resilient Sphere scrolls but I think that spell may be removed from the game?). I dunno, maybe if you Invis her, her script tells her to wise up and stand still. Cernd gets a max of three insta-heals, and even then Auriel can easily die in less than a round with the Ultra and Elemental on her (not to mention some of the "minor" golems). She uses Hardiness only after a round or two. Although that said, on the battle I won, I had two Amber golems left. I drew one away with my party and left the other one with a couple of skeleton warriors offscreen. Almost precisely when I killed the amber golem with my party, Auriel comes onscreen telling me the battle is over. I don't think the skeleton warriors could tank the amber golem (if they could, then holy crap I've been doing them wrong this whole time), so she must have done something to help.

 

Insufficient for what? I don't know what you mean.

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In IA v6, Otilulike's Resilient Sphere is replaced by Ray of Fragmentation. That's easily seen if you import a mage from BG1 who has the Sphere memorized - it will immediately change to RoF in IA.

 

I managed to win the fight without Maze with roughly 50% success chance (in the remaining attempts Auriel was killed). BTW I don't use Cernd. And no, Auriel will never stand still.

 

Skeleton Warriors cannot tank an Amber golem for very long, right, but I think that the fight is over when the 4 big golems die.

 

About gold and xp - well, it just seems very small amount for both of them, and you've already went through 2/3 of the game roughly. But yeah, not that you need to be a certain level for ToB fights since you play on Core or to forge certain expensive rings.

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The fight definitely isn't over after the 4 big guys die. Half the challenge was getting through the purges, and half was actually the point at which the 4 big guys are dead and I'm almost out of spells and still need to deal with 6 golems breaking stoneskins as well as the amber madness.

 

I have no idea how you did this without Maze. You'd need at least two people Healing her *constantly*, since she can die in less than 6 seconds. I guess if you get the Ultra and Elemental to switch targets and stay off her... actually maybe they do that since the targeting system seems to favor party characters over non-party (summons, etc.) from what I can tell.

 

Not sure what I'm missing here... I skipped both the Kruin and Spider Queen battles, but other than that I've not skipped anything and done a pretty good job at maximizing exp. Worst case, I'm 500-750k experience from the max possible at this point, which is 150k per character. Would your opinion really change if I said I had 5.8M experience at this point?

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Not sure what I'm missing here... I skipped both the Kruin and Spider Queen battles, but other than that I've not skipped anything and done a pretty good job at maximizing exp. Worst case, I'm 500-750k experience from the max possible at this point, which is 150k per character. Would your opinion really change if I said I had 5.8M experience at this point?

 

Well, the xp and level progression table does tell me that I had a Swanmay Queen to lead my summons for this fight, and you didn't. The Swanmay Queen can take a lot more punishment and inflict a lot more damage compared to a Greater Swanmay or Smilodon. Also, the number of Critical Strikes I had per warrior helped defeat the Elemenal Golems much quicker. I also separated the 2 golem groups and forced 2 of the Elemental golems to chase a bunch of Swanmays whom I controlled under Farsight(1 Greater, 2 normal) from the very beginning, effectively distracting them for nearly a turn. Plus, I planned for the Purge Magic beforehand (it's really not hard to calculate when the Ultra golem's gonna shoot the first one and clear the fight with everyone but a single F/M type who will refresh PFMW and IHaste immediately via a Spell Trigger, leave some summons battling Ultra too for distraction), and focused on the Ultra Golem with everything I've got. Then again, I use Mazzy as a pre-buffer, she really helps enormously with her long-lasting stackable entire-party THAC0 bonus, which was +6 for this fight (2 Rest Wishes), because the Ultra Golem has a really good AC. But it's after Ultra dies when the problems start, and that is the point when I have R-C and a planetar constantly healing Auriel. As I said, not an easy thing to keep her alive.

 

It's the 6-person party with no custom NPCs that limits your overall XP maximization. You can't do NPC quests. Also I doubt you collected every bit of xp possible. Did you, for example, call for all possible reinforcements in Bodhi's fight and did you kill all these reinforcements? Did you kill Drizzt's party twice? Did you kill the elves in the exit of Underdark area? Did you kill the elves in Suldanesselar after liberating the city? Did you drain each and every possible Ghost Spider and Elemental Golem of summons completely (of course, some cannot be drained, like these 3 Elemental golems in the Swanmay quest, it's a suicide).

Edited by Saros

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NPC quests are tiny in the grand scheme, except for I suppose Jaheira. Killing Drizzt's party twice sounds like a bug, not that that would stop you. Killing those elves... surprised that's not rep loss (I wouldn't call this a bug, I guess, but rather an oversight?). They're such jerks, I'm tempted to do that.

 

Brought the Lanthorn to the elves before heading off to Orcus. Forgot how much experience you got from this (74,500 quest experience... TWICE). Got a couple of folks to level up off of that. Also forged the Cat Figurine and the Jhor the Bleeder upgrade (was nice to see its bleeding damage has a save at -4, which is not mentioned in docs). Might miss the 65k on this one, it was an impulse buy.

 

Orcus, what a long battle. One of the more annoying aspects of this mod is that it's hard to know when certain summons are going to be endless, and when they're not. Once I realized the summons stop at some point, it wasn't too bad (I guess the fact that they give experience was a giveaway). Just tedious as anything though. Riskbreaker used both Risk Decrements early, as it's blunt damage to 7 or 8 grandlords, so about 150 damage per shot. Had chain contingencies for 3xMordy Sword and 2xMordy, 1xGiant Strength. Orcus killed them with Death Spell after about 2 or 3 rounds.

 

Cernd in this battle was pretty awesome, with his Alacrity. I hid Imoen in the corner to avoid the Grave Silence, and had her casting summons and Limited Wish (protection from Undead) every few rounds. Also had her step in with a Comet when the first batch of vampires came in. Combined with Cernd's nearly a dozen Negative Plan Protections at instant speed (they don't seem to require touch here, which I thought they did), I was able to conquer this battle without using a Prot Level Drain scroll.

 

Domination from the vampires got me a total of four times. Got my Fighter/Mage once, and the last spawn after Orcus died hit my F/M, F->M, and Vagrant protagonist. My riskbreaker swallowed the AC -1 potion and cleaned up the vampires before I dispelled the charm. (this was, I think, the first time I dispelled anything in this playthrough, and looking through NearInfinity it looks like I barely made it... level 23 Sorc versus level 22 Master Vampire).

 

Tons of experience from this fight... just hit level 25 with protag and am going for the Supreme Leader now. (I think I can wait as long as I want to hit the elf city in ch. 7). Really want to get this Cloud belt, and get on to the demi-lich which I think has the Defender of Easthaven and the Usuno's Blade, so I will drop a bunch of cash after this to forge upgraded Crom and the upgraded flail.

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NPC quests are tiny in the grand scheme, except for I suppose Jaheira. Killing Drizzt's party twice sounds like a bug, not that that would stop you. Killing those elves... surprised that's not rep loss (I wouldn't call this a bug, I guess, but rather an oversight?). They're such jerks, I'm tempted to do that.

 

Brought the Lanthorn to the elves before heading off to Orcus. Forgot how much experience you got from this (74,500 quest experience... TWICE). Got a couple of folks to level up off of that. Also forged the Cat Figurine and the Jhor the Bleeder upgrade (was nice to see its bleeding damage has a save at -4, which is not mentioned in docs). Might miss the 65k on this one, it was an impulse buy.

 

Orcus, what a long battle. One of the more annoying aspects of this mod is that it's hard to know when certain summons are going to be endless, and when they're not. Once I realized the summons stop at some point, it wasn't too bad (I guess the fact that they give experience was a giveaway). Just tedious as anything though. Riskbreaker used both Risk Decrements early, as it's blunt damage to 7 or 8 grandlords, so about 150 damage per shot. Had chain contingencies for 3xMordy Sword and 2xMordy, 1xGiant Strength. Orcus killed them with Death Spell after about 2 or 3 rounds.

 

Cernd in this battle was pretty awesome, with his Alacrity. I hid Imoen in the corner to avoid the Grave Silence, and had her casting summons and Limited Wish (protection from Undead) every few rounds. Also had her step in with a Comet when the first batch of vampires came in. Combined with Cernd's nearly a dozen Negative Plan Protections at instant speed (they don't seem to require touch here, which I thought they did), I was able to conquer this battle without using a Prot Level Drain scroll.

 

Domination from the vampires got me a total of four times. Got my Fighter/Mage once, and the last spawn after Orcus died hit my F/M, F->M, and Vagrant protagonist. My riskbreaker swallowed the AC -1 potion and cleaned up the vampires before I dispelled the charm. (this was, I think, the first time I dispelled anything in this playthrough, and looking through NearInfinity it looks like I barely made it... level 23 Sorc versus level 22 Master Vampire).

 

Tons of experience from this fight... just hit level 25 with protag and am going for the Supreme Leader now. (I think I can wait as long as I want to hit the elf city in ch. 7). Really want to get this Cloud belt, and get on to the demi-lich which I think has the Defender of Easthaven and the Usuno's Blade, so I will drop a bunch of cash after this to forge upgraded Crom and the upgraded flail.

 

Added, the NPC quests experience and gold is quite a lot. Of course, most notable ones are Edwin's, Jan's, Korgan's and Jaheira's. I'd say you're looking at about 300-400 000 total xp and about 50 000 gp from NPC quests (maybe even a bit more). Killing Drizzt twice may sound like a bug, yet it's completely possible for he and his party to be raised, re-equipped and sent after you in the Graveyard District (the latter is obviously an oversight), if we try to keep as close to the role-playing as possible. Same can be said about all other in-game NPCs that can be killed more than once. Beware of killing elves in Exit of Underdark area (scripted death, can be avoided until you kill them all).

 

Cat Figurine is an important upgrade (free Greater Restoration), but Jhor the Bleeder is not worth it, definitely. You didn't just waste 65k, you wasted about 90, since the ingredients (bastard sword +2, Jhor the Bleeder, 48-th sided garnet) are worth a lot when sold. And you wasted a Permanency scroll as well.

 

The main plot should be followed at least up to Nizidramani'yt and the Harpists' house before engaging any of the tougher opponents. Lots of easy xp in Suldanesselar, several enemies to drain of summons (a Noble Rakshasa outside the House of the Talisman, 2 Ghost Spiders outside of Dermin's house).

 

Congratulations on winning Orcus' fight, however if you had a high-level Dispel Magic with Cernd, it would be a lot easier. And you should have items for each and every party member which protect from charm. Potions of Clarity also protect vs Charm, and are not removed by vampires' melee attacks (not counted as specific protection I guess). But scrolls of protection from Level drain are not needed anywhere else, so it's good to use them in this fight and not worry about lvl-draining attacks.

 

I usually use only unkillable summons vs Orcus, but I have quite a lot up to this point.

 

Wish you luck vs Supreme leader. But it's not necessary that you'll find Uzuno's blade on the Demilich. The Defender or Easthaven is either there or in Saladrex's lair, but the uzuno's blade can be in WK lvl 5, red globe last challenge.

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I had some issues with the Cat figurine... need to nail down its casting time, because it seems much slower for these entire-party spells. My Daystar and Helm of Brilliance Sunrays also had excruciatingly long casting times. All of these made this fight harder than it should have been. Frankly I think I got a little lucky with my timings of Limited Wish and Alacrity for Cernd for the level drains, and getting Hardiness off of Wish, so I guess it all evens out.

 

You're right, I think I do have plenty of charm protections, but I actually didn't realize there was such a saving throw penalty to them (whatever it is), nor that they even cast it. I think other instances of Master Vampires were killed much more quickly and didn't live long enough to get a lot of charms off. I'm also really bad at using consumables... I hoard them, making my life much harder, until the final battle of games. Which is pointless for the level drain scrolls, but I've yet to use a single barbarian essence, so that should make my life easier at some point.

 

If I have trouble with Supreme Leader, I'll go for the elven city. But really want that flail ASAP... that was half the reason for making a Vagrant (who, frankly, has been disappointing so far... having neither the offense of a riskbreaker nor the defense of a Fighter/Mage). I think I'm going to continue with my strategy of not forging ring improvements, and use the cash instead on weapons. Might do Daystar upgrade too, now that I actually have the protection from level drain scrolls. It's not too good for Grandlords, but perhaps vampires and liches... EDIT, just checked it out, and no, I will not be doing this... 100k is steep, not to mention the permanency *and* elaboration. Yeesh.

Edited by mikel123

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You won't meet any more dangerous vampires than the ones you already met. There is a set of 4 Master Vampires in the purple globe challenges, but those without the assistance of a powerful F/M like Orcus and also with plenty of room to maneuver on WK lvl 5 + the ability to go outside whenever you want make them trivial. A single F-M can wipe them all. As for liches, if you can kill one, you really don't need Hesperus to do it. That's why you should've used those protection from level drain scrolls in the battle vs Orcus - they're very helpful in this fight, otherwise they're just obsolete.

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Yeah, I read a lot of people use the barbarian essence potions in this one, as well as the level drain scrolls. I think the level drain scrolls are the most important (assuming you have a few guys with Stoneskins to soak up blows). My Riskbreaker, with the AC -1 potion, had a displayed AC of -20 or so, before I even cast Defensive Harmony and Blur. So she may have pulled away some Grandlord heat. Once Orcus is only piping in 6 Lords at a time, they drop pretty quickly and you can easily keep up buffs. But the Level Drain scrolls would have been much easier once I ran out of Comets and Risk Decrements to keep the vampires separated and at a distance.

 

I'm an item junky, so I want to try out as much of them as I can on this playthrough, since I have some ideas and a hankering for an Ascension/SCS playthrough I want to do next. Really want to finish IA but it's getting pretty boring. Hopefully some new items from WK will spice it up again.

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Nah, it just gets a lot more boring. But you will have an extremely hard time surviving the Orcus fight on Insane with no Barbarian essence potions. Only a Necro PC has a good chance without them (stack RVE regenerations). AC doesn't help much vs Skeleton Grandlords. My RB is constantly -24 for this fight even without Defensive Harmony or Blur, and still he gets hit a lot, which is normal.

 

Also it's strange that you didn't propel a vampire inside the catacomb crypts, where a bug occurs. That's why I prefer not using knockback effects in this fight (Staff of the Ram, Smite, Comet or Risk Decrement).

Edited by Saros

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Well, the difference between Core and Insane is double damage, right? So if I never got down to half damage, I never would have died on insane. I think the only char that got down below half damage was the Riskbreaker (who I allowed to get that low because I was using the Risk Decrement heal that second time anyways).

 

I think I only used one actual insta-heal from Cernd; the rest were the full-round castings at touch range. The Mordekainen Swords helped a ton here... they have like 35 HP but 90 physical resistance. I hear people talking about summoning "elite trolls" with around 140 HP and 25% resistance. The swords can take twice as much damage, and I had 5 of them out there from the moment I walked in the room. Granted on Insane I suppose they'd only last half as long, and might actually die before the Death spell from Orcus (which killed 3 or 4 of mine who were still alive around round 3).

 

If I were to play this game again with a new party on Insane, I wouldn't have any character (save perhaps a Riskbreaker) without some kind of stoneskin:

 

Necro

Kens(9)>M

Bers(13)>M

F/M

R(7)>C

Riskbreaker

 

Something like that. Much like Vanilla, the stoneskins just bypass so many issues on Insane, or any difficulty frankly. I spent most of this playthrough with only three competent fighters. Moving to five, as above, would have made things considerably easier (although there are precious few of some important spell scrolls available, it's really just a matter of getting Stoneskin for everyone). As it is, having my late dual back as a 4th fighter has made things remarkably easier, I think (could be practice effects from having a decent understanding of the mod too, I suppose).

 

To your question earlier about the F/M... I guess if I was going with the party above, I could do without it, since the duals are appropriately staggered and I wouldn't be without more than one fighter at a time. With the amount of firepower above, you could also probably ditch the Riskbreaker and do something fun, like a F/T, or a Bers&--#62;Thief, or another char with access to Stoneskin. In this playthrough though, I needed the F/M for consistency during the long single-class time period with my Bers>M dual.

Edited by mikel123

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Supreme Leader started off cool, then devolved into boring nonsense. Love the idea of having to push through narrow spaces and a bunch of guys to get to those golem summoners. New more powerful Gith, good times. Alone with an invulnerable enemy for 20 minutes of play time waiting for his invulnerability to wear off: not fun. Saros, no clue how or why you keep this on your machine as your install after one playthrough, let alone a dozen or however many you've done.

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Hmmm, since in my current run I am very close to facing Kruin, did some extensive testing with another test game on his behavior. It has something to do with the previously described "Cromwell bug".

 

Kruin will spawn in any city area except for the Graveyard District and the City Gates. Those are off-limits and can be used as a pre-buff point.

You can leave the area where Kruin's army is and no new Kruin will spawn in the next area you're going to.

Until Kruin is alive (no matter if you gave him the sword or just escaped from him) the entrance to Cromwell's forge is sealed permanently.

Kruin will not spawn in Trademeet (I may have missed a spot here, but ran far and wide throughout the town, no Kruin).

Kruin will spawn in one more location - the SouthEastern corner of the Forest of Tethyr.

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Got it, that sounds about right. No clue if it's intentional that Cromwell should be sealed if you give the blade back... my hunch is that this isn't intentional (since giving the blade back is largely the "good" thing to do, despite Kruin's trash talk, and "good" paths are overwhelmingly rewarded in this mod). Of course, sealing Cromwell's shop before this encounter also has no logical connection either, so who knows.

 

My .02... should have Kruin mention something about threatening Cromwell and saying Kruin will kill him if he offers to build PC anything, as long as PC has the blade. Cromwell doesn't have much fighting prowess so he caves to the threat and skips town just to be safe. Fight Kruin, or give him the blade, and he rescinds his threat and Cromwell comes back and you can head into the shop.

 

Wouldn't have had this issue if I had my dual back by then (even a level 13 dual to mage would have been, with plenty of time to spare), as I wouldn't have had much issue with this fight. But good to know.

 

BTW, two things to note. One is you can buff in the temples in the Temple District (most likely in Lathander as due to Multiple Strongholds you're allowed to rest in there too). Kruin only shows up near the center of the map. The other is that if you run inside the temple mid-fight, Kruin won't follow you, but when you come back out, he'll gate in two more Elemental Golems. No idea if this happens when you go area-to-area like you mentioned as well.

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