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Things I've discovered about Hardcore #406987
23/02/10 04:06 AM
23/02/10 04:06 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
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Stabbey Offline OP
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I haven't finished the game yet for the first time - I haven't even got out of the fortress in Act 1, but I decided to try out some tricks. I started a new Death Knight Mage/Paladin Warrior - on Very East, then I immediately switched to Hardcore to retain the two bonus points. The first level of the torture dungeon was okay, not too hard.

My discoveries about Hardcore:

1) There's a bunch of waiting around for your health and mana to refill. Have a good book handy.

2) Using Stealth is mandatory.

3) The hardest part of the Battlegrounds is the first few seconds of entering a new floor of the dungeon, when you're under attack by 6-10 skeletons at once. If you can survive the first room, you can stealth-clear the rest, albeit slowly.

4) Mages are pathetic and worthless. I maxed out a basic, instant-hit fire damage spell. 5 skill points, 43-95 damage. It takes 83 mana a shot, and it still doesn't one-shot Level 2 skeletons 100% of the time. That's the CHEAPEST spell. I had to dump pretty almost all my Death Knight's stat points into Intelligence, save for some Constitution so I don't get one-shotted. 5 skill points worth of spell should be MORE than enough to ALWAYS 1-shot a level 2 enemy. There is no excuse at all for a spell to cost that much mana for such pathetic damage.

5) The bonus enemies on Hardcore are scaled to your level. I discovered this after clearing out two floors of the battlefield dungeon (reaching level 8) so I could get tough enough to kill the ghosts in the arena prison cells. I COULD have saved myself a LOT of time and effort by doing the next floor down and getting the bedroll, bonus health book, restoration skills, but I wanted to kill the ghosts in the arena area first.

When I first tried killing the ghosts before entering the battlefields, the second ghost in the cells was level 6. AFTER the battlefields, when I was level 8, the ghost had increased to level 9. I WAS able to kill both from one cell after several fatal attempts, but it took so long, and it required me to drink far more potions than the experience was worth.

6) Summoning Dolls apparently aren't worth bothering with on Hardcore, except to hold loot when your characters become encumbered. At level 8, the doll I summoned had 75 HP and was killed in about 5 seconds in the first fight.


Well, that was an interesting experiment, and I appreciate the extra skill points, but it's a bit tedious, so I'm probably going to go back to a different skill level and finish the game on that first.

Re: Things I've discovered about Hardcore [Re: Stabbey] #406991
23/02/10 06:11 AM
23/02/10 06:11 AM
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Raze Offline

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I wouldn't try making a pure mage until act 2 (actually I wouldn't try at all, personally, but if I was going to play a mage, I would wait until act 2 before expecting much in the way of magical combat effectiveness).

Give the act 1 doll a crossbow, set it to aggressive, and make sure you summon it out of the way of any expected opponents. It is fine kept away from melee fighting. Later in the game switch to power arrows whenever you can, or splitting arrows for groups of opponents in confined spaces (where there are no friendly NPCs or creatures around).
Playing on tactical, I only bothered using the skeleton doll for combat for the occasional tough fight.

Re: Things I've discovered about Hardcore [Re: Raze] #407145
24/02/10 08:39 PM
24/02/10 08:39 PM
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Stabbey Offline OP
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I deleted my first character for multiple screwups (especially missing the extra skill point for starting on Action and not "Very Easy", and messing up the 6-switch puzzle at the maze's end), and I started an identical Survivor-Archer Paladin on Tactical. After my Warrior-Death Knight got his butt kicked by 4 Skeletal mages in the maze, I saw the light of points into Stealth, as just one point let my archer slaughter the entire lot without getting spotted at all. The single point into Stealth also worked well to make the Stealth level thereafter easier, but it isn't enough to run away once spotted. To run away in stealth mode, you need two points into Stealth.

I took your advice about the doll, and it was indeed very useful in certain aspects - the boss skeleton in the maze went right for it, instead of one of my critical characters, and it is very useful at holding gear when both characters get too encumbered to run.

So using the lessons from my previous characters, I've started yet another Survivor-Archer Paladin/Warrior Death Knight combo, this time on Hardcore. I've made sure that each time I level up, at least one character gets an extra skill point (if neither gets a skill point, I reload), and I'm putting 2 points into Stealth each. Another difference is that I'm NOT putting any points into weapon skills, so I can use what I find instead of throwing away one or another weapon because it didn't match my skill set. The battlegrounds should be easier than my first Hardcore run now that I have the bedroll, summoning doll, and the healing spell.

It also helped that I got a drop of a Item Quality 3 Regular Crossbow from Fergus, which became my new best friend as soon as I was able to equip it. That usually one-shots Level 2 skeletons on Hardcore, and it took 5 fewer skill points than my mage did for the same effect.

Re: Things I've discovered about Hardcore [Re: Stabbey] #407167
25/02/10 02:58 AM
25/02/10 02:58 AM
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flixerflax Offline

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"Mages are pathetic and worthless."

No. No, no, no. Early mage spells are pathetic and worthless. Once shaman magic becomes available you will decimate hordes before your warrior has much of a chance to swing - at less of a mana cost than any of those focussed/instant/fire type spells.

Last edited by flixerflax; 25/02/10 02:59 AM.
Re: Things I've discovered about Hardcore [Re: flixerflax] #433962
03/01/11 10:54 AM
03/01/11 10:54 AM
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Guthan Offline
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You know, I'm playing on hardcore now (as always) and I tried to use pickpocket for the first time. This way, I could stack up quite some money so I'm never worried about getting too less health potions etc. I did the exact same thing (waiting to go down until I killed the ghosts) I got 2 pure warriors, death knight set to 2h crushing damage and my hero set to 1h with shield on shadow, they both deal an average of 70-150 damage at lvl 8. I had to drink loads of potions versus the BF bosses and the ghosts, but since I got enough money from the pickpockets, that's not a problem. I can also just make new potions with alchemy, so I don't really see the problem here, you get more experience due to more opponents. So I guess you getting a pure mage already wasn't such a good choice (yet :D)


The Question isn't how
The Question is when
and the answer is now
Re: Things I've discovered about Hardcore [Re: Guthan] #462389
09/04/13 06:33 PM
09/04/13 06:33 PM
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AfterStarX Offline

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I know that this post is quite old, but since i'm playing the game on hardcore now,i thought i would chip in.

These three abilities Sneak, Pickpocket and Summoning dolls are "game changing" to the point that they can trivialise the game.

Prioritise to always level Sneak as far as you can to the current maximum and when you enter combat always do so in sneak mode. Aggrevate the monsters one by one, until they all drop. If more come towards your side, then just walk away a few steps.
Using archery weapons with sneak is even more deadly, as you can fire 2-3 times move a few steps and repeat the process, without the monsters ever be able to hit you.I managed to kill all the level 6 ghosts at the early stages when i was level 4 with ease.

As for pickpocket, all i have to say is wow.
You need to teach and level it up with only one of your characters, doing otherwise will be redundant and i would recommend to level it up as much as possible.
If you play it clever, you can get a lot of high value items for free and even steal your money back.
Here is a tip: Save high value objects such as permanent potions or a rune that has a big value. Sell it to the vendor and get equal value items. Then pickpocket him and steal it back. Repeat the process until you got everything you wanted. This ensures you will be able to get anything you want from vendors and your money back... - I feel this is a bit cheating,so you may avoid using it if you want.
You are limited to how many times you can steal based on your level,so save before doing so.


As far as summoning dolls go, Stabbey you say they are useless but I think they are game breaking.

Doll used as a mule:
First you can use them as an unlimited space mule, which means you can throw anything you want in it. The doll won't be able to move at all but that doesn't matter if you use it as a mule.

Doll used as a killing machine:
Each point put into summoning dolls->Upgrade->Level skill, gives your doll 2 extra level ups which also equal to 10 stat points.
Both your characters and even the doll itself can level up this skill and the available levels will sum up. What's more is that you can have multiple instances of a Summoning Doll Upgrade in your skillboxes, which means the same character could invest multiple times into summoning doll level upgrade.
For ex. i could have on my hero early on invest into Summoning Doll Upgrade Level 3,four times if i have 12 skillpoints.

In a test i did,at just level 8 and investing both of my character's skillpoints into summoning doll upgrade (12 each) and the 4 starting skillpoints the dolls gets,my skeleton doll was level 57 with a 2handed sword demolishing everything.
Just summon it whenever there is combat and everything dies.

I reloaded back my game after trying it,to play without this because it was just silly,but this shows that if someone wants to play a Doll-master,he certainly can. At this point however the doll will become the main protagonist smile.
Do note however that you cannot unlearn points spent into summoning doll upgrades

Last edited by AfterStarX; 09/04/13 06:38 PM.
Re: Things I've discovered about Hardcore [Re: AfterStarX] #462391
09/04/13 07:03 PM
09/04/13 07:03 PM
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Raze Offline

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I only levelled up the act 1 summoning doll at the end of the game (before going through the rift back to Rivellon), using all the DK's skill points. I didn't play much in the after-game BF, though (even without upgrading, the first doll can provide good support in tough fights if given a crossbow and kept out of melee range of opponents).

Re: Things I've discovered about Hardcore [Re: flixerflax] #463451
21/04/13 01:59 PM
21/04/13 01:59 PM
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Stabbey Offline OP
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Wow, this old topic. I don't think I ever even finished Act 1 on Hardcore. Bu I have finished the game twice at the second highest difficulty.

2) Stealth is still mandatory, but only for the stealth level midway through Act 1 and the Act 1 boss room.

4) On difficulties below Hardcore, Act 1 magic remains worthless.

Originally Posted By: flixerflax
"Mages are pathetic and worthless."

No. No, no, no. Early mage spells are pathetic and worthless. Once shaman magic becomes available you will decimate hordes before your warrior has much of a chance to swing - at less of a mana cost than any of those focussed/instant/fire type spells.


Those magic spells do kill things, but their mana costs are so high that they're basically worthless. Sure, you can one-shot an entire group of enemies. But then you're out of mana and there are a zillion more groups right behind that one.


I did find pickpocketing quite useful, mostly to steal huge stacks of arrows and such.

The summoning dolls are only useful in the post-game, because you get an entire character's worth of skill points to spend.

In my view, the act 1 doll is only good for a mule, never level it. The damage it does with the crossbow is worthless even in Act 1 when you first get it. Only level the Act 4 doll. Even then there are only barely enough skill points to make the Act 4 and act 2 dolls into meat shields. I think I shove most of the attribute points for the doll into Constitution to make it a tank, because the damage they do is not useful.

It's better to make one of the main characters a ranger if you want one.

Re: Things I've discovered about Hardcore [Re: Stabbey] #463497
21/04/13 06:36 PM
21/04/13 06:36 PM
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I didn't use stealth in either the 'stealth level' (the opponents there were originally intended to be much tougher than they ended up being) or in the act 1 boss room (playing on tactical difficulty).


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