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Joined: Nov 2015
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stranger
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Started Tactician mode yesterday with my brother. I went for a knight-type of character, without any points in leadership, with the Lonewolf-talent.

He went for a wizard with no wands and his spells were flare, boulderbash (?) and Oath of Desecration.

We've both played the original game and thought that Tactician would suit our needs perfectly and so far, the difficulty level is exactly what it seems like. The first fight against the 5 skeletons was a close one, but we managed to do that simply by playing like someone who has touched a game before this one.

This game, this difficulty mode, requires you to think quite a bit, it doesn't allow you to just "Yea, I'll just go there and whack him", but it doesn't require min/maxing at all. And blacksmithing/crafting isn't as needed as people make it to be. You can play the game just fine without putting any points in those. There are plenty of items that give blacksmithing and/or crafting, you need to utilize those. Only thing that I've crafted so far are a few potions and special arrows, but those things only need 1 or 2 points.

Tactician mode is hard, it's unforgiving and it requires you to constantly watch out for the environment. There are oil barrels, ooze barrels, water puddles, etc..., along the way that you have to utilize to win the fight. The game may be hard, but it does not require you to do anything that you don't want to. You can complete the game by using two rogues, it's just going to be harder. But like I said; you can manage if you've ever played anything like this game before. Everyone knows that a good balanced party will be a lot better.

But, still, it's up to you how to play the game. There are multiple ways to get that much wanted CC. Grenades, scrolls, arrows, skills, so no character is gimped to the point of no return. P

Joined: Aug 2009
journeyman
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Originally Posted by Mikaelion
Started Tactician mode yesterday with my brother. I went for a knight-type of character, without any points in leadership, with the Lonewolf-talent.

He went for a wizard with no wands and his spells were flare, boulderbash (?) and Oath of Desecration.

We've both played the original game and thought that Tactician would suit our needs perfectly and so far, the difficulty level is exactly what it seems like. The first fight against the 5 skeletons was a close one, but we managed to do that simply by playing like someone who has touched a game before this one.

This game, this difficulty mode, requires you to think quite a bit, it doesn't allow you to just "Yea, I'll just go there and whack him", but it doesn't require min/maxing at all. And blacksmithing/crafting isn't as needed as people make it to be. You can play the game just fine without putting any points in those. There are plenty of items that give blacksmithing and/or crafting, you need to utilize those. Only thing that I've crafted so far are a few potions and special arrows, but those things only need 1 or 2 points.

Tactician mode is hard, it's unforgiving and it requires you to constantly watch out for the environment. There are oil barrels, ooze barrels, water puddles, etc..., along the way that you have to utilize to win the fight. The game may be hard, but it does not require you to do anything that you don't want to. You can complete the game by using two rogues, it's just going to be harder. But like I said; you can manage if you've ever played anything like this game before. Everyone knows that a good balanced party will be a lot better.

But, still, it's up to you how to play the game. There are multiple ways to get that much wanted CC. Grenades, scrolls, arrows, skills, so no character is gimped to the point of no return. P


Exactly this - my wife and me played the not enhanced edition and we think the difficulty of tactician mode is right where it needs to be. You won't need to min/max your stats but you will have to pick your fights carefully and prepare before starting it. Knowing your enemies weaknesses, spells and elemental type makes battles a lot easier. Don't forget to use anything you can see to your advantage. For example hiding your mage behind a barrel to block a ranged shot or using water to fight off exploding and burning enemies. (for example those suicide units won't explode while they are wet) And don't forget you can use items and scrolls in battles, not just weapons and spells.

Some basics should still be clear though! If your group doesn't have anyone who can soak some damage you will have a really hard time fighting high HP monsters who can get into closecombat range before you kill them. In our Enhanced Edition tactical run my wife played a ranger type character with many special arrows and a handful of scoundral skills to get out of danger quickly. I played a fire/earth mage to buff the party and creating combos for the special ranger arrows. We used the warrior NPC and the scoundrel NPC in our party. We didn't min max our stats, but you obviously need to consider that you are playing on a really hard difficulty. You can't just put 10 intelligence into your warrior just for fun. But there is enough room to get things like talking to animals, some bartering or other not combat related additions. In some fights we had to try out half a dozen strategies before one of them finally worked. But that's what a hard mode is good for. A real challenge. Minmaxing might have made the midgame easier but if you pay attention you will find out many ways to defeat opponents without actually fighting them and you will grow strong enough eventually to take on the really tough guys without perfectly skilling your characters. I doubt you can reach a point where you can get stuck if you have a savegame before such battles at hand. Maybe your party can't fight this group yet but what if you go back to the first town and grab a scroll of x/y/z ? What if you change your weapons elemental stats by crafting? What if you change your NPC followers because they might be the weakest link in your party? You have a lot of options and almost every quest has a different way of doing it. (In the Enhanced Edition there are even more quest options. We encountered one quest which was in the original which already had 2 different outcomes and ways to win it and now it has one additional path you can follow instead - if you have a specific item with you and talked to some specific people who will do the quest for you if you give them that item)

One last thing: The skeletons at the start might be really hard for you with specific character combinations. Especially because skeletons have some natural strengths/weaknesses and some starting character weapons deal 50% of damage against them. This will change later on when there are many different types of enemies. Just don't forget that every unit has a weakness (piercing damage, an element, etc.) and some strength. (immune to element x, gets healed from y, receives half damage from z) Due to that the first battle can be really hard if your characters both only have weapons and spells which deal low damage against skeletons. They are in no way impossible to win though, don't forget you can find some stuff on the beach. You can use some of it to your advantage if you place it before the fight starts. wink

Joined: Nov 2015
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apprentice
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Yeah, I'm playing on honor mode so... I'm going to use as much "prep" cheese as I can. smile You are right that you don't need to min/max, although you might need to use up some spare resources. I'm doing some fairly aggressive moves to ensure I don't start over yet again (took me 15 tries to stay above level 9) and I really don't want to hear that stupid imp talk again.

That said, I was a pseudo save game scummer in my previous runs. Now that I can't really save the game to test different things and I don't really remember the game 100% (haven't played for a while), it makes for a VERY different sort of game.

Loremaster is INCREDIBLY useful, but counter intuitive to use! It used to just show the information with mouse over. Now you must right-click over the minion and "examine". It gives you a HUGE run-down on the weaknesses of the enemy. This is a must if you want to play "no-reload" and it works from "infinite" distance which I think is FAIR for honor mode players.

Fleeing is incredibly useful too if the battle is going awry. I haven't had to use it in my current run through but in the previous ones it is useful to get a feel for what is going on and if you must, to slowly whittle down the enemy forces. While escapist with some body building / willpower can usually save your character, all it takes is one bad combo and it is over.

Constitution is very useful. Unlike the usual diminishing or linear returns of most games, it appears to get STRONGER the more you put into it. Very useful if you are playing honor since the cost of going down is quite a few total AP (or less if you have "morning person").

Bosses are incredibly risky. If not for my vague knowledge of how they worked, I'd probably have reloaded again by now. I put off fighting some bosses because if you aren't careful, you can get wrecked pretty badly.

Spending money for survivability and certain skills rather than saving for a rainy day is a good idea since there might NOT be a rainy day to go back to!

Splitting the group with a vanguard and using pyramid tricks to maneuver is a must. I think this is slightly counter intuitive but the AI is so stupid with traps + groups that you really have to do this or cry like I did when your team dies to a TRAP.

Anyway, I'm still alive at level 13 or so and I'm sort of liking this honor mode. I don't know if it is for everyone (mostly due to the traps and hokey pyramid tricks) and I'm sure you could "cheat" death by keeping your main at home at all times. When played along the spirit of the game, it is a different experience for sure!

Joined: Dec 2005
galneon Offline OP
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I'm only at level 6, but Tactician feels just right so far. I know I would have restarted had I played Classic. The toughest battle was the very first. Unless you can AoE the group of three right away, including the poison bomb thrower, that's a rough fight, and depending on the skills you pick, it may not be possible to prevent the bomb from going off. I imagine that fight has given a lot of people the wrong idea about Tactician. I'm not sure it's the right introduction to the game...

I've taken a lot of non-combat skills so far and am only having to restart battles when individual party members die (which I'm treating as a game-over--with a finite amount of experience in the game, this probably isn't a
bad idea?). I have a very generalized mage, a two-hander (with crafting/blacksmithing), and the Cylean ranger and rogue whom I have no intention of ever replacing.

Self-handicapping is usually annoying and breaks immersion, but it isn't hard at all in this game. 1. Only the mage is capable of using scrolls, 2. Only the rogue is capable of throwing grenades, 3. Only the ranger is capable of using arrows, and 4. Because I can see how special arrows could trivialize everything if over-used, the knowledge of crafting arrows has been entirely lost on my party. wink

Joined: Nov 2015
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I am playing through tactician mode with lone wolf ATM. Since the tactician mode's improvement is not to the enemy AI, but to the enemy build (more abilities, +20% health), you are correct that the most efficient (although not necessarily the most fun) way of coping with it is to enhance the build of your party. This means at least some degree of min/max is required, and party synergy becomes even more important.

My characters are 1) hybrid mage/warrior (aiming to build a tank mage) specializing in witchcraft (buff and close combat spells) with some points in other magic schools that grants buff spells (ie earth: fortify) and CC, and ;2) hybrid mage/rogue. The mage/rogue is given +initiative equipment, which combined with haste makes her the perfect person to CC and perform "set up" spells like rain, boulder, and midnight oil, so my mage/warrior can be the damage dealer. Even though none of my character have points in dual wield, my mage/warrior use wands for range attacks and habitually use earth wands to summon solves. Since I am playing lone wolf, I have to rely on summoning for throw away tanks. There is no improvement to enemy AI, which means mobs will habitually go after my spiders, elementals, and wolves. The summons are weak and don't do much damage, but they buy enough time for my mage/rogue to cast CC and "set up" spells, and allow my mage/warrior to clean up.

My battles usually unfold in the follow manner:
- summons
- CC and set up spells
- damage
- rinse and repeat when necessary

Last edited by yupper; 17/11/15 07:47 AM.
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