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galneon Offline OP
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Last week I played D:OS for the first time. I'd been waiting since Winter for the patch which then became the EE. I played the first battle with three different pairs in Tactician mode. One took two tries, one took three, and one pair I was unable to get through the battle with at all. I then tried the battle once on Classic mode and got through it without taking a single point of damage.

My first impression: Where's hard mode? These seem like two extremes and I'm wondering where the middle ground is, but that isn't my point.

Anyway, if I play at all, it will be in Tactician mode, and my question involves character design. I don't like min-maxing. I play most games on the highest difficulty with deliberately subpar builds. I don't play MMOGs so I'm not competing with anyone and I do whatever I can to make games challenging. I don't intend to generalize my characters to the point of obscurity, but I would like to put points into fun stuff like telekenesis, speaking to animals, charisma, lockpicking, etc.

Is Tactician mode hardcore to the point that I can't screw around and hope to get through it? Do I have to invest in every skill according to its usefulness in battle? I only intend to play this game once, like any other game. I know I can't see it all in one playthrough no matter what, but by diversifying a bit I can probably see more of it than with pure combat builds. Assuming I'm a competent player (though one who absolutely won't be reading strategy guides or wikis to find tactics or exploits), can I play the way I'd like to?

I'm hoping to really start playing tomorrow and would be grateful for your opinions. No build suggestions, please, as I'm going in as blind as possible--I just want to avoid a restart if I find myself permanently stuck several hours into the game.

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I picked an enchantress and rogue my first time at tactician, and got slaughtered. The teleport didn't drop the skeleton on the others like I'd hoped, and the rogue's daggers and bleed attack weren't much good against 5 skeletons. 5 con each didn't help.

Since then, I haven't had any problem (I restart way too much). I take a wizard with summon spider, a knight with both knockdown skills, and a point of leadership on both chars for the initiative, and it's been easy. Other combos of characters were fine, but there are definitely some that are going to hurt, especially if they hit you both with the poison grenade, and you don't have a form of healing.

Later on, I don't think it's as bad, but then I use crafting and blacksmith to make sure I have good gear for my level.

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Judging the appropriate difficulty to play at based entirely on what is literally the first battle in the game is probably not the best gauge. On Normal/Classic, you're not supposed to be seriously challenged by those three starter skeletons.

Generally speaking, Tactician is intended for those who have already finished the game and are looking for a greater challenge. Tactician expects you to know and understand the systems of the game. People who have never played D:OS before are going to have a much harder time than playing on normal.

If you're playing for the first time, even normal difficulty can be a challenge. This game is difficulty by design and enemies are no slouches. Even on normal, you cannot sleepwalk casually through the game.

I won't offer you build advice, so I will suggest is that you build a balanced party of four.

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If you are challenged by the first battle you are gonna have a hard time. Remember you are gonna mess up your build at some point if you aren't killing the fun with a build guide. It gets a lot tougher, when you get to the first town. Another thing is the the enemies don't level with you so you can stumble on a high level very early on if you don't know where you are going. I think it could be frustrating to play tactician and not knowing if you are the correct level or if the enemies are just that tough. When you play classic you can always go for a higher level area to test out you skills once in a while.

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I don't feel that it's necessary to have finished the game (or even played D:OS) to play through at the tactician difficulty setting. You just need to be decent at these types of games, have a little patience, and be prepared to try out different strategies. The weaker (combat-wise) you build your characters, the more outside the box thinking you'll need in combat. Heck, I think you'll have more fun that way.

Honestly, there are so few options available (compared to everywhere else) when you reach the first fight, I think it's more difficult than some of the battles that follow it.

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Tactition mode basics:
Warrior and/or Ranger for damage
Crafting
CC* as much as possible
Don't neglect initiative

If you can handle that, then you can play around with combining builds as much as you want. As long as you can still equip your crafted weapons the rest of the stats are free game. 5 crafting and blacksmithing are a must, but with gear, traits and talents you can get that with only 1 crafting and 2 blacksmithing.

The main use for crafting is making and enhancing your weapons. Crafted weapons do a lot more damage than found ones (with some type exceptions), so it's pretty essential for making a strong character. It's also needed for enhancing your armor (resistances) and making special arrows for the Ranger. I could go into more detail but I think you want to learn it on your own. I will say that I think crossbow crafting is bugged (bad) so stick to bows.

That initiative part is something I found out the hard way. I used to figure "whats it matter when you get the same number of turns/actions either way?", but getting the first turn lets you CC your enemies before they have a chance to CC you. It often means the difference between dying before you get a turn and never letting the enemies attack you at all.

*Crowd Control, especially referring to Stun, Knockdown, Petrify, Freeze, and Charm

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Originally Posted by Gyson
I don't feel that it's necessary to have finished the game (or even played D:OS) to play through at the tactician difficulty setting. You just need to be decent at these types of games, have a little patience, and be prepared to try out different strategies. The weaker (combat-wise) you build your characters, the more outside the box thinking you'll need in combat. Heck, I think you'll have more fun that way.

Honestly, there are so few options available (compared to everywhere else) when you reach the first fight, I think it's more difficult than some of the battles that follow it.


10 times I died at the start. 2 additional archers, and the fact that you only have 2 characters at that point - leaves no room for mistakes.

Then it is a bit difficult up until lvl 4 or 5, but from there you have so many options there is always a way to win.

Point: Just push through the start even if it seems a bit hard, the fights further into the game are much more diverse then on vanilla.

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Tactician mode is interesting. I definitely go for Honour after few patches.

I have just picked up a knight and a Inquisitor to give it a try. Out of box, no particular modification. (which is a waste)
I was wandering around and get 6th level. I was wiped only 3 times at all.

I watched few youtube letsplay on Tactial, most people surrender the play. Or switch to lower difficulty.
Also I have find an topic on Steam like: " I suck in game, so can you make tactical easy enough for me?" think

Thats it, it is hard. It ment to be hard. And its done great way, not simply add HP as usual dumb game, but more emey, new nemy, smarter enemys. It is for completest and skill professors. hehe
Tactical is great. I think that this will give DOS:EE long, long popularity for RPG positive fans.


Play on standard first then for next run choose other clasess and higher diff, the game now has a great replay value.

Last edited by gGeo; 07/11/15 01:33 PM.
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galneon Offline OP
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Thanks for all the input. The game is only new to me once and that's a large part of why it's Tactician mode or nothing for me. I've never finished a game and thought "gee, I really should have played on a lesser difficulty and then played the whole thing again on a harder difficulty." Maybe I'd do things that way if I was seeking to suck every last bit of value out of the games I play, but my queue is long enough that I'd have to live to 120 to get through all the games I'd like to play. Dying doesn't interrupt the flow for me. I like dying. If I'm not dying some, the game isn't trying hard enough.

It sounds like I'll have the toughest time before I reach the city when I'm only a party of two, but once I put together a full party it should be manageable. I know I asked for no build tips, but the points of leadership for initiative is useful advice, and I would have guessed crafting in general wasn't very useful and was there for novelty (and I would have been very wrong about it), so thanks for that :P Looking forward to starting in earnest later today.

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I will agree with Stabbey that the game is not as easy as a lot of people tries to say, especially in Tactician. Or rather, depending on your builds, it will be very hard, hard, or okay.

Tactician imo brings forwards everything that is wrong with DOS:EE by widening the gap between the abilities usefulness and generaly aggravating the game balancing issues. Sure, it is possible to stumble on the right builds by yourself, but it is easy to waste points, and points don't come in a large supply. You are tempted to put some points in Lockpicking : definitely don't. The talent was useless and is still useless. You may not have been tempted to put some points in Leadership, do it, but maybe not too many. Sneaking received a huge nerf compared to vanilla that may render it very useless too : you may have wanted to make a stealth based rogue based on your experience throughout other games, it may not be a good idea here.

All this make for a somewhat non intuitive and unforgiving Tactician experience especially in the first chapter. You may get enough skills and spent points later on that may help you even the odds, but chances are that you will suffer in Cyseal. Another thing that may require you know what you're doing is that it's very unadvised to wander out of town before having done everything you could - which should bring you to level ... 4 or 3?

And as Stabbey said : gather your team of 4. Don't even think about Lone Wolf for a very first attempt at Divinity : Original Sin Enhanced Edition session in Tactician mode.


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So far it feels maybe like a Hard should. Once you get the feel down I think it opens up a lot to a new player. When I hear min/max I hear stats, esp the basic attribute ones. Well that doesn't mean you can't have bows/special arrows for fighter types to start at range, which imo makes them pretty much mages in effect. Your mage(s) should have multiple schools. To me between everything melee skills, range skills/arrows, schools, grenades, wands, scrolls. You should have so many choices (too many imo) that really I've been able to spell rather easily, whatever is put in front of me. It doesn't seem all that difficult... so far. Early game still. My modded D:OS game was harder than Tactician.

Now if you don't want to use all that is available to you, well then you are making your own difficulty level and well I'm not sure we can help answer. The more you restrict stats, items etc, that is you, but I don't feel the Attributes have to be a certain way to have success.

I would go tactician, you will get a lot better and then you'll still have 2/3 the game to go and wish there were more challenge. Not a fan that you can't change in our out of Tactician, it's a not a mmo, lets us do what we want to here.

Back on the specialty arrows. It seems reducing them to only Poison, Fire, Knockdown, Cloud would be plenty of utility options and they seem a bit more based in reality. There are like 10 now, they have basically everything that it makes one feel like a mage but with a arrow delivery system. Arrows like Charm, Electricity, doesn't seem all that realistic for an arrow.

Last edited by Horrorscope; 07/11/15 06:09 PM.
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The bad thing about Tactician so far IMO is the first battle relies entirely on luck. Since you can't find weaponry or items to supplement whatever you might have gotten at the start (oh look, sword+shield for my dual-wielder, not weapons!) your up for the grabs. Later on you atleast got some basics from the the tutorial dungeon and beach.

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Originally Posted by Hassat Hunter
The bad thing about Tactician so far IMO is the first battle relies entirely on luck. Since you can't find weaponry or items to supplement whatever you might have gotten at the start (oh look, sword+shield for my dual-wielder, not weapons!) your up for the grabs. Later on you atleast got some basics from the the tutorial dungeon and beach.


It does and it doesn't. I can reliably beat the first battle without luck but it requires me to customize the characters in a min/max way. Max strength, dual wand inquisitor with max int respeced with regen and spider. I have done it with other minor variations but it is hard to start with the rogue classes and certain stock items.

I could experiment more to find other ways to open it, but don't care strongly to find out as I don't think the game was meant to be fully balanced initially in tactician/honor modes.

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The first fight is quite hard because you have no resources except what you start with. It does almost seem to force one of you to take some kind of healing ability (Cure Wounds, First Aid, Regeneration). But after reaching Cyseal, Tactician gets a lot less tricky.

It also doesn't help that the tutorial dungeon does not contain any health potions.

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Originally Posted by CK1
[quote=Hassat Hunter]The bad thing about Tactician so far IMO is the first battle relies entirely on luck. Since you can't find weaponry or items to supplement whatever you might have gotten at the start (oh look, sword+shield for my dual-wielder, not weapons!) your up for the grabs. Later on you atleast got some basics from the the tutorial dungeon and beach.


The very first decision i suggest during character creation is to pick a class that looks like it has the equipment you want.

*Tactician difficulty tip, not for RPG beginners.

Don't pick a class based on spells, skills, starting attributes, abilities, talents... these can all be changed. The name of class can be ignored as irrelevant. The only use of the suggested classes is the starting equipment for beginning encounter survivability.

Special Note: Take care to double check choices you make as you flip between your two characters as some choices get reset as you go (bug i guess). The voice choice definitely gets reset as you change classes so be careful.

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galneon Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Koan
Don't pick a class based on spells, skills, starting attributes, abilities, talents... these can all be changed. The name of class can be ignored as irrelevant. The only use of the suggested classes is the starting equipment for beginning encounter survivability.


That's helpful, but I've heard the ability to respec comes very late in the game. Was this incorrect?

It seems to me because of the lack of resources and reliance on luck that the pre-Cyseal content gives people a false impression of what Tactician mode is. I imagine that leads to many people restarting from Classic into Tactician mode later in the game, or restarting from Tactician into Classic mode only to realize the game becomes far easier after the first few hours.

Last edited by galneon; 11/11/15 08:02 PM.
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I may have not been clear. I'm only talking about changes made in character creation (before game start). When you choose a preset class, everything can be edited during character creation except for starting equipment.

I haven't made it too far into the game and have done my best not to read any respeccing details (spoilers).

Last edited by Koan; 11/11/15 08:11 PM.
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galneon Offline OP
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Ahh yes, I see what you mean. Sorry if I spoiled anything (I'm usually the one to avoid spoilers :P).

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No worries. It's a fine line that we spoiler-avoiders walk in this modern day and age of broken-game-making to browse forums for hints and tips ;-)

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Haha, indeed...

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