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My Comeback Party; comments

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by Death Rabbit, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    I brought a monk with me for the first time. I thought I was going to dread the lower levels, but he holds his own quite well, and he's near untouchable once he gets the right buffs (owls wisdom, mage armor, cats grace, etc.). The animations are really cool too. I think a monk may be a new standard addition to my party now.
     
  2. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Monks in this game can use Flurry of Blows with staves. That alone makes them considerably more viable as early game damage-dealers compared to their infinity engine game counterparts. And yeah the animations are really cool too, from the plain monk outfit (I like the straw hat) to the combat moves (that full 90 degree downwards kick on a critical hit).
     
  3. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Yeah, I noticed the staff flurries. Don't they lose the 1.5 strength bonus though? Improved trips are nice too. The success rates are amazing. Does the Co8 mod include sais into the game? A monk/rogue multiclass that dual wields flurried sais can dish out some crazy sneak attack damage.
     
  4. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    I don't believe there are any sais.
     
  5. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Gaear,

    I re-installed Co8 last night. Upgrading from 6.0 to 7.5 NC. Zone Alarm should be added to the list of Anti-virus Programs that stops the Toee.exe from working. I am using ZoneAlarm for AV, Firewall and Identity protection. For the time being disabled ZA, added AVG free and resurrected Windows Firewakk so I can jump back into ToEE for a while to check out the NC.
     
  6. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yep they lose the 1.5x strength bonus. That only becomes a factor at higher levels though, the extra attack is still really useful at lower levels.

    No sais, but the game has kamas and sianghams.
     
  7. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    [​IMG]
    Thanks Blades. I hate when they do that.
     
  8. spmdw45 Gems: 8/31
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    Negative on magic. I snuck into the Broken Tower with five of my six characters under an Invisibility effect. Didn't stop them from being targetted by the brigands, although it might have forced Concealment checks.

    -Max

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds later... ----------

    Per the rules, Flurry of Blows gives only exactly STR damage, not 1.5 STR damage for two-handed... but two-handed weapons still get the x2 for Power Attack, so there's still some benefit.

    Personally though, when I found out about Flurry not getting full STR bonus, I ditched my monk level for a barb level + Scather. (Had to start the game over of course.) AC isn't quite as good but I am much happier with the greater damage and movement rate. (In fact, melee is so easy that it feels like cheating. Power Attack + Great Cleave + Combat Expertise + Fight Defensively + Scather = IDSPISPOPD anyone?)

    Improved trips are nice, especially with Enlarge, but they aren't compatible with multiple attacks unfortunately.

    -Max
     
  9. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    It's more of a low level deal rather than an end-game thing. Monks should really switch to using their fists at higher levels (if played as a skirmisher/disabler) or two kamas/sianghams (if played as a sneak attack/elemental damage character).

    I prefer crafted weapons myself, like holy weapons with triple elemental burst. And the best part is that you can add enchantments as you adventure. Sometimes, depending on party size, your weapons may even be more powerful than Scather by the time you get it.
     
  10. spmdw45 Gems: 8/31
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    That's hard to believe, given the combat feats. How could any weapon compete with +7 to AC and +30-ish (or more) to damage, auto-hit? Even a triple-burst holy elemental weapon isn't that good, although you might have better reach.

    Scather/Fragarach is so good it feels like cheating. I haven't finished the game yet, but even when I was actively TRYING to get Thrommel killed by sending him in alone and never healing him, he STILL killed everything I sent him up against simply by virtue of being Enlarged and having Power Attack 10 on. (But it turns out that Fragarach vanishes when Thrommel gets resurrected and goes away, so there's no way to get both swords.)

    -Max
     
  11. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Scather (unmodded) is 2d6 (greatsword) + 2d6 (vs evil) + 2d6 (vs lawful) + 8 (wielder is chaotic good). On a critical hit, it does an extra 2d6 damage (greatsword is x2 on crit) +16 (assuming the +8 damage is doubled). Assuming ideal conditions, that's a total of 14-44 damage, and 32-62 on a crit (19-20 critical threat range).

    Auto-hit is nice for a low BAB character but for character with high base BAB there are already too many ways to increase your attack bonus further in ToEE, from combat feats to +6 strength (or dex, for finesse) gloves. Focusing on weapons with good critical threat range/good critical hit damage also helps.
    A +3 greatsword with Holy and three elemental bursts does 2d6 (greatsword) + 3 (enchantment) + 2d6 (vs evil) + 3d6 (elements) damage for a total of 10-45 points solid damage. On a crit, it does 4d6 (greatsword is x2 on crit) + 6 (enchantment) + 2d6 (vs evil) + 3d10 (elemental burst) = 15-72 damage (18-20 critical threat range with Keen).
    If you count how you won't be fighting a lot of lawful beings, how I really don't think Scather's critical hit damage reaches that high in practice (I think the +8 damage bonus isn't doubled on a crit, among other things) and how Improved Critical stacks with Keen in ToEE then the crafted greatsword is already a pretty decent alternative to Scather. You could negate the -10 AB penalty from Power Attack using party buffs/debuffs.

    Or you could powergame. A +3 great cleaver with Holy and three elemental bursts does 1-10 (great cleaver) + 3 (enchantment) + 2d6 (vs evil) + 3d6 (elements) damage for a total of 9-43 points solid damage. On a crit, it does 3d10 (great cleaver is x3 on crit) + 9 (enchantment) + 2d6 (vs evil) + 6d10 (elemental burst) = 20-111 damage (14-20 critical threat range with Keen).
    You will 1-3 hit bosses.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  12. spmdw45 Gems: 8/31
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    Correcting the Scather numbers:

    I've never yet seen Scather do +8 damage, only +4 and holy, so the base damage is 4d6 + 4 = 18, ignoring the bonus vs. Lawful. A 10th level fighter with Power Attack and Expertise gets an automatic +20 to damage and +7 to AC (fighting defensively), so 38 damage plus 1.5 Strength bonus. Your triple-burst Holy greatsword gets 7d6 +3 + 1.5 Strength bonus, so 27.5 plus 1.5 Strength, with no AC bonus. Unless your BAB is high enough to auto-hit with a -17 penalty, you're not going to be able to match Scather.

    On a crit, your cleaver is doing 20-111 damage (I didn't compute the average, but presumably about 66 points of damage, 30% of the time) and Scather is doing 38x3 = 114, 10% of the time. (I'm neglecting STR bonus here.) That's good performance, but not enough (IMO) to make up for the inferior performance on non-crits: 26 damage 70% of the time + 66 damage 30% of the time = 38 damage per hit on average, vs. (114 * 10% + 38 * 90% = 45.6) 45 damage per hit for Scather. Plus STR bonus, etc., of course, on both sides. (STR x 1.5 x 1.2 from crits for Scather, STR x 1.5(?) x 1.3 from crits from cleaver, so you'd need roughly STR 102 in order for the Cleaver to catch up with Scather.)

    I'm not saying crafted weapons aren't awesome in this game, but if you're going to build a melee monster you would rather be wielding Scather than an elemental burst cleaver. It does more damage, has auto-hit (which works nicely with Great Cleave, and supposedly with Whirlwind although I haven't tried it), and lets you abuse Combat Expertise and Fighting Defensively for a free +7 to AC. It's also available very early in the Temple without spending tens of thousands of XP. The downside is you can't take a Monk level.

    -Max

    DISCLAIMER: IIRC, Scather is a x3 on 20 weapon, but I didn't check.
     
  13. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Scather is a greatsword (bastard sword with Co8 mod) so it has always been x2 on a 19-20. I checked the Co8 forums if they made changes, and they haven't. The description said that when wielded by a chaotic good (iirc) character Scather's "bonus" rises to +8, or something along those lines. The thing is I'm not sure whether the game only adds a +4 damage bonus or if the actual enchantment rises to +8. Further searches both on the game itself and actual game lore reveal nothing conclusive. I am just not sure if the in-game implementation is supposed to be buggy or not (because if it is, Gaear will probably change it).
    On a practical note I have never seen Scather outperform any of my best crafted weapons on a high BAB character, not counting shielders.

    At mid levels paying 3-5 AB for Power Attack on a high BAB character is nonfactor if you use crafted gear (+2-6 str bonus) and have the right combat feats/long term buffs on. There are simply too many ways to raise your BAB in ToEE (not to mention there are lots of powerful spells which lower enemy AC, knock them down or outright negate AC bonuses through hold/sleep/paralyzation/immobilization). Merely flanking gives you +2 AB, for example. Charging gives you +2. I'm not saying a high BAB character will always hit, but based on experience once he/she reaches around level 5 and the bonus from buffs/gear/stats/game mechanics start to add up these characters will rarely miss. At max level, it depends on what type of party you have. With a cleric and bard you could go as low as -8 or perhaps -10 on nonbosses. 27.5 + 8 is already 35.5, which makes it a "decent" alternative to Scather (it can miss, yes). But I use a crafted greatsword as an example here only because Scather (unmodded) is also a greatsword. There are other, more powerful weapon types (great mauls, greataxes, scythes, great cleavers, etc)

    The crafted great cleaver has a crit range of 11-20 with Keen and Improved Critical. It's not a question of whether you'll be seeing a critical, it's more a question of whether your next hit is gong to be a critical hit or not. I didn't bother to factor strength/power attack on the great cleaver because (based on experience) you will already be 1-3 hitting bosses with this weapon on a character with at least 18 base strength + buffs/mods (the strength bonus to damage on a crit is a massive 3 x 1.5 strength modifier).

    I normally don't craft fully enchanted weapons in one sitting, usually I build them gradually. You can enchant your very first weapon the moment you find a weapon worth enchanting, which can happen as early as when you first visit Honnleath and gain your first few levels. You can then continue adding enchantments as your casters gain levels and learn the necessary spells.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
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  14. spmdw45 Gems: 8/31
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    Okay, I see where you're coming from. If auto-hit in indeed common even without Scather, then you can spend on Power Attack freely.

    Nit: the STR multiplier on a Great Cleaver is 1.5 * 2, not 3, since you only crit half the time. At least, that's how I calculated the bonuses earlier in the thread. Scather is still 1.5 * 0.1, since 19-20 x2 is equivalent to 20x3, for regular weapon damage at least (not elemental bursts).

    Can you comment on those other weapon categories you named: scythes, great mauls, etc.? It's pretty obvious that Great Cleaver is about the improved critical chances; what is the advantage to, say, a greatclub?

    -Max
     
  15. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Mauls and scythes are similar to the greatsword but they do x3 and x4 on a critical hit respectively, increasing the damage from elemental bursts, power attack and strength bonus. Basically, as far practical (or even general) gameplay goes I concede that our argument so far has been mostly academic. Scather with (maxed) power attack can kill most (normal) monsters as easily as a good crafted weapon, which is why when I was arguing the full potential of crafted weapons I focused on particular powerful monsters like bosses. In the end, it was like comparing multiple gunshots to the heart to dropping a ship the size of the Titanic on someone - regardless of how impressive the latter may seem, the end result is the same (ie, there is some merit on arguing how Scather is "just more appropriate for a good character" even if you powergame).

    But the nice thing about weapons with higher critical hit damage (x3 and higher) is when they actually crit on hardier monsters and bosses. It only happens every so often, but when it does you must agree that the result (possibly killing powerful monsters in a single blow, or doing massive damage against quasi-godly beings) is epic. Easily worth more than doing more damage on normal attacks that will just kill most monsters in roughly the same number of attacks, unless pure numbers are just more your style.

    Anyway great mauls do blunt/crushing damage, which few monsters are resistant to, while scythes do slashing/piercing damage, which means that enemies must be resistant to both slashing and piercing for damage resistance to work against it. Every once in a while I've fought monsters (usually undead, sometimes elementals) which for some strange reason are extremely resistant to slashing damage, even from Scather. Might be a bug, but it's incredibly annoying when it happens.
    Finally, if you're just after the math, great mauls and scythes can be better than greatswords when it comes to some (usually, completely optional) creatures in the game which have a DR as high as 15 and even one with a DR of 25. Great swords do 4d6 on a critical hit (base threat range 19-20). If we assume an average damage of 14, then that isn't even enough to damage the creature with DR 15, while the maximum damage isn't even enough to break the defenses of the creature with DR 25. Great Mauls do 3d10 critical hit damage (base threat range 20). Let's assume an average damage of 16.5 (I have no idea how the AI simulates die rolls) with a maximum damage of 30. The scythe does 4d8 critical hit damage (base threat range 20). That's 18 average damage, and 32 maximum damage. So it doesn't really matter in the end if the greatsword does twice as many critical hits when two critical hits from a greatsword has a good chance of doing less damage than a single critical hit from a great maul or scythe.

    BTW I made a mistake calculating the Great Cleaver's critical threat range. The way Improved Critical and Keen work the critical threat range of a Keen Great Cleaver on someone with Improved Critical is 8-20 (17-20 = 4, so x3 from Improved Critical and Keen = 12. 20-12 = 8).
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  16. spmdw45 Gems: 8/31
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    Reporting back:

    Done with the game, finally. While enchanted holy weapons had no trouble hitting mooks, I never got to a point where I was able to hit bosses with impunity (AC 43-ish generally, for Iuz and the Balor), let alone with a -17 penalty from maxed Power Attack and Combat Expertise. (I was 8th level when I finished, and most melee characters had approximately +16 in total bonuses including BAB and Strength.)

    Therefore, in any battle that matters, I can't imagine any crafted weapon being as desirable as Fragarach or Scather. Except against puddings, obviously.

    -Max
     
  17. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Your mileage may vary. Especially seeing as you have the Co8 mod (since you mentioned the signature buffed Iuz) and yet you engaged him at level 8 (did you skip all the extra content?). You can beat him earlier using dismissal spells and it won't matter if you have Scather or Fragarach.

    You can also try actually treating him like the demigod he is and prebuff like hell before engaging him. Off the top of my head 10 BAB +2 Flanking +3 Belt of Giant Strength (item) +1 Weapon Focus (feat) +1 Greater Weapon Focus (feat) +1 Prayer (spell) +1 Haste (spell) +1 Bless (spell) +4 Greater Heroism + 5 natural strength bonus + 3 weapon enhancement +4 Mass Bull's Strength (spell, which stacks with the belt for some reason) and +4 Inspire Courage/Competence from a bard gives you 40 AB. Using a great cleaver that gives you a 50% chance to hit and 50% of those hits will be critical hits. +10 if you engage him at level 20. There are other bonuses.

    For the record I do use Scather occasionally, just not on my main dps guys. I usually give it to a low BAB character (spellsword) or the party cleric, who with powerful buffs like Divine Power and Righteous Might can do massive damage with Scather when the need for short term massive burst damage arises, like if I suddenly find myself fighting godly beings.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
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  18. spmdw45 Gems: 8/31
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    Oh, is Iuz not normally AC 43? I did turn on NC, but the only new content that I did (AFAIK) was Welkwood Bog at the beginning, to avoid the FedEx quests.

    Maybe the Balor isn't supposed to be that tough either? I ended up reloading to an earlier save and just not going into the Fire node at all--that DC 25 Fear aura is a killer, especially since you can't use Scather on him due to the bug. Maybe DC 25 is a NC thing though, then. (Teleporting back to the Earth node would have worked just as well, of course, but it isn't what I did.)

    I didn't know Bull's Strength stacked with the belt. I didn't have access to Greater Heroism or Mass Bull's Strength though (only level 8), nor did I have enough feats to take those Greater/Weapon Focus feats, but I did have belts of Giant's Strength +6 and Haste/Bless/+3 weapon enhancement, and Inspire Courage from a bard. (I thought that was only +1 though, not +4? The manual says +1, and that's what I found in my game, which is the main reason I quit levelling my bard at Bard 2. Does it increase with higher levels?)

    If I were Level 20, lots of things about the game would have been different.

    -Max

    P.S. I wound up being moderately impressed with Rogues. Furnok with Precise Shot and Rapid Shot did decent amounts of damage when he managed to catch someone flatfooted. I think he contributed more to my party than Burne would have in similar circumstances.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  19. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Ranger/Rogue is even better. Goblinoids as a favored enemy, 18 STR and a +3 Composite Mighty Longbow for 18 STR and of course Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Long Shot and Point Blank Shot, killed even Greater Temple Bugbears in a single round. Too bad he couldn't shift targets after a kill within a round! :)
     
  20. spmdw45 Gems: 8/31
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    I don't remember seeing any Composite Longbows in this game, only a couple of Longbows +1. Is it an enchantment you can add? (Also, I thought the "Composite adds STR" thing was only for 1st edition. Did they bring it back in 3.5?)

    I had Furnok using a Holy Sling +2.

    -Max
     

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