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Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder #649153
08/09/18 12:45 AM
08/09/18 12:45 AM
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CharityDiary Offline OP
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I find that playing Lone Wolf is much harder than necessary after the nerf. It used to be essentially a different playstyle, a mode separate-but-equal to the 4-player party, but now it's just a handicap, and boy does it start early or what! I was capped on several abilities and skills before the end of Act 1.

Compared to earlier playthroughs, I am really struggling about 70% of the way through Act 2. I just don't have the damage output to CC or kill enough enemies before they outnumber, CC, and kill both my characters. I can stack more crit chance and damage, yes, and that's helpful when I get the crits, but when I don't get those crits, it's basically impossible to progress.

It's like playing without Lone Wolf, but with only 2 characters instead of 4. The 30% extra health does not help when you're dealing with enemies who can take your armor and health down in one turn anyway. That stat stacking past 40 (and past 10 for combat abilities) was absolutely necessary as a damage increase to offset the handicap of having fewer characters.

Personally, I never saw Lone Wolf as OP anyway, and I did several playthroughs with it. And besides, if you didn't want to use it, you didn't have to. Now it's just not fun...

Last edited by CharityDiary; 08/09/18 12:46 AM.
Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649155
08/09/18 01:11 AM
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miaasma Offline
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separate but equal? lone wolf is, and has always been, incomparably easier than a 4 man party

all they did was cap skills

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649158
08/09/18 02:36 AM
08/09/18 02:36 AM
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strange... when you reach act 2 you already have 40-42 main stat (if you'll decide to kiss)
then you'll level up wits and con\mem(as needed) making you almost always 1st in combat while also rising your crit chance significantly. during the mid-end of act 2 you can easily reach 50+% crit chance...
and your skills will also be nearly maxed making everything easier then 4 party (especially if you'll utilize invis and skills like deflective barrier. also you can abuse init by having your 2nd character join the fight later in the round.
the only downside is that your CC will be a bit more limited, but you can compensate with skills like skin graft or consumable items.

also 30% increased hp was never a good thing. if you're out of armor - you're CC'd to death

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: miaasma] #649160
08/09/18 02:49 AM
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CharityDiary Offline OP
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Originally Posted by miaasma
all they did was cap skills


They capped STATS. Now, late game, a LW character is basically the same as a Non-LW character, just with increased health or crit chance, which only helps when you're actually critting.

Tactician/Honour is still doable on LW if you abuse things like Death Wish + Living on the Edge, or if you min-max every character to include Warfare, Scoundrel, and Polymorph so they can exploit Adrenaline, Skin Graft, and Enrage, even if it makes no sense lore-wise or RPG-wise for those characters to go into those disciplines. It's just something every party has to do in order to be viable.

So literally all they did was remove the freedom from LW playthroughs and force everyone to make similar builds if you actually want to have a fun time playing.

Again, I DO NOT CARE if you "thought" Lone Wolf was "overpowered". Not like you were gonna use it anyway, even if your opinion was valid. Only thing you're accomplishing is ruining the fun of players who don't want to control 4 characters at once.

Last edited by CharityDiary; 08/09/18 02:50 AM.
Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649242
09/09/18 03:40 PM
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Tredvolt Offline
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Just chiming in real quick. I realize opinions abound but I wanted to state very clearly (as someone who has finished this game nearly 100 times) my thoughts on Lonewolf(LW).

1. LW was nerfed in that you cannot max/min as much as before but you still get as many points.
2. LW is still BY FAR by many orders of magnitude easier to beat the game with on Tact/Hon than a 4 man.
3. LW is still overpowered to an extent that makes it an "easy mode" equivalent choice.

-------------------------------

THAT BEING SAID (Put down your pitchforks) - there is nothing WRONG with having choices like lonewolf and easy modes in games. As has been mentioned many times by many people - not everyone wants to max/min the strategic elements of this game. Sometimes they want to enjoy the story with a splash of combat that moves along the story rather than be complex warfare.

Now my personal and unpopular opinion is that further reduction to Lonewolf power would make for a more interesting experience and preserve balance - as it stands it feels like cheating and my group of friends that play have banned it once again (after trying it in a few campaigns in DE).

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649275
10/09/18 08:34 AM
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Linio Offline

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Hi Tredvolt, this is the third post I read from you on this particular topic. I'm curious as what is "OP" about LW (I never considered using it, but I'll have to do a second walk through the game so...). Do you have a reference, video or post explaining in more depth how it is so?
Thanks.

Last edited by Linio; 10/09/18 08:34 AM.
Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649306
10/09/18 09:08 PM
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Hi Linio I'd be happy to explain.

It comes down to really understanding how combat works in this game. I think a misconception is that if we add 30% to all our numbers then the individual will be 30% stronger. More often than not the situation is more binary. Did you have enough health to survive the attacks or did you not. Since the game is balanced around levels and acceptable damage output on normal characters it doesn't take a great leap to see how having that extra changes things quickly.

Although the 30% bonuses are just the tip of the iceberg. It is the doubling of invested points.

-results in higher initiative
-earlier power levels with (int/fin/str)
-more spell availability (more for memory and more skill tree options)
-even talents like picture of health end up being multiplied through

Take a level 8 character ready to go up against alexander. Instead of 9 skill points hes got 18. You could in theory put those extra 9 points into warfare or your ideal magic school. Your abilities hit 45% harder (roughly) and the economy per ap is far higher. And, of course you have more AP to use.

Another misunderstanding is that 6 vs 4 ap is only a 50% increase where it really ends up being far more. Each character tends to pay a tax in AP for safety and movement. If for example your 4ap character needs to chameleon cloak at the end of their turn to survive till their next turn - then you really are running 3 ap vs 5ap (with no movement). At this point you are 66% higher damage ap available, and again not at the 45% damage increase per point which multiplies out. Also, since a lonewolf is so much tankier, maybe they don't even NEED to chameleon cloak or maybe that enemy that got down low for the normal character actually died to the higher damage output of the LW.

The thing is all of these characteristics snowball in actually combat. They are multipliers on top of multipliers.

Anecdotally, my last lone wolf campaign had a Shield Toss/Buff/CC character with max wits and con - along side a geomancer. We always had the luxury of being 1st and 3rd in the turn order. My job as the first guy would be to take out #2 or CC him. It usually included a shield toss which 99% of the time would be enough to remove all their armor and then a tremor grenade or battle stomp to cc. I'd usually haste the geo and maybe peace of mind. Now my friend the Geo goes and does his normal routine - something like: blood sacrifice -> turn to oil -> (every geo spell in the book). At this point on Tactician everything on the field is dead or close to it. If a few dangerous things were up Geo would chameleon or invis pot, maybe throwing out a chloroform. My next turn i would usually jump in with medusa head and if i couldn't petrify EVERYTHING - maybe i'd use an ice fan scroll or my own chloroform.

The point is nothing moves, nothing hurts us, and even if we do make a math mistake - we have all that extra vit and armor so there was really zero chance of losing a fight.

Ramping damage up earlier, access to more spells and having the tank aspect to boot doesn't make the game a little easier- it completely compromises all difficulty. Honestly we screwed around in our last run and we never came close to a death. Most combats were over in 1 turn.

Last fight - shield tosser kills dallis in one hit (around 20k damage) - we transition to second phase jump up on a pillar - spider goop braccus. Geo goes and kills nearly everyone with pyroclastic. The dust literally settles and my next shield toss finishes lucian+braccus. We took zero damage. Without lonewolf you don't get those numbers. The shield toss can't one shot - now all the enemies get to go. Now maybe we need to res people, now we are wasting ap on movement and recovery spells. A huge snowball effect of wasted AP occurs. You end up using more consumables and therefore more money - maybe that means you have worse gear (providing for 3 or 4 instead of 2) etc etc etc.

----------------------------------------------------

If you made it through all that rambling - good job and sorry! To attempt a summary - the battles in this game are more tightly balanced than most people think. The constraints employed to allow a large variety of characters to get through the game error to the side of ease. After the first couple levels Lonewolf gives you something like an effective level jump of +4/+5 at nearly any point in the game. The game isn't made to handle those kind of level differences in combat.

Spreading arguably less power through 4 characters creates a lot of fighting vulnerability. Those characters that go 5th and 7th in the turn order are liabilities. It is much better to concentrate damage into 2 characters that are 1st and 3rd in the order. They become untouchable.

Lonewolf doesn't look broken on paper - the reality sets in when you understand this multiplying variables and the real win/lose conditions of fights.

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649352
11/09/18 02:09 PM
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fragonard Offline
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Nice summary, Tredvolt. Made me think about my own build. Your shield/buff character is interesting. Do you use Poly skills on him and do you put some points in STR for that? Do you treat the main hand weapon just as a stat stick? I'm very curious on the details of such a build. My own inclination would be to go either Poly/STR or Necro/INT for a secondary but it sounds like you're maxing CON, something I've never considered. Thanks.

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: Tredvolt] #649356
11/09/18 04:17 PM
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Linio Offline

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Originally Posted by Tredvolt
If you made it through all that rambling - good job and sorry! To attempt a summary - the battles in this game are more tightly balanced than most people think. The constraints employed to allow a large variety of characters to get through the game error to the side of ease. After the first couple levels Lonewolf gives you something like an effective level jump of +4/+5 at nearly any point in the game. The game isn't made to handle those kind of level differences in combat.

Spreading arguably less power through 4 characters creates a lot of fighting vulnerability. Those characters that go 5th and 7th in the turn order are liabilities. It is much better to concentrate damage into 2 characters that are 1st and 3rd in the order. They become untouchable.


Don't be sorry, I asked for it. Actually some stuff resonate with me, especially what you're saying with the fact that being 4 people makes you more vulnerable.
Interesting read, thanks.

I found the warrior + geomancer to be a weird OP build, I would assume an OP build would be around the same type of damage (magical or physical) but I'm assuming my knowledge of the game is not sufficient enough.

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649370
11/09/18 08:11 PM
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I have optimized a character that I call the "Shield Warrior" that I feel is incredibly overpowered in total execution. The character works on all difficulty levels and is somewhat the backbone to all of our party configurations. He has changed and adapted over many runs to what he is now, but has existed with several different iterations.

Shield Warrior

Creation Setup - Human (ranger kit to ensure a bow in first box on the boat)

-1 Pyro (haste,peaceofmind)
-1 Scoundrel (chloroform)
-1 Bartering
- Glass Cannon

I start with 1 str and the rest wits so that I can use (bedroll/haste/peace to pick up the deathfog barrel) but this is not a necessary optimization.

Level 2 I pick up a point in Poly.
Level 3 I pick up all skilled up and put another point into Poly and and 1 point into huntsman.
Level 4 Put a point into Scoundrel so you can grab cloak and dagger

Buy, Adrenaline, First Aid, Cloak and Dagger, Medusa, Spread, Chameleon

For further levels put 1 more into Huntsman so you can get Tactical Retreat and put the rest into Warfare

Add Ifan to the party and steal his OP bow at level 4 or 5. Use bow for the entire first island. If you want to grab Huntsman abilities you can pick what you prefer.

When you arrive at the 2nd island ditch the bow. You'll never use it again. Sneak into the camp where Saheila is held and get the Shield. You'll need spirit vision and a purging wand. You can do this without any fighting as soon as you get to the second island by talking to the advocate and using persuasion to let meistr siva go.

Use the mask of the shapeshifter to eat the elves brain for the extra bartering point and make sure to buy barter belt and neck. Dig up the barter gloves. All civil points should be in barter and just from exploring you should now have enough levels to have 10 points in barter.

Now you buy Bouncing Shield and Battle Stomp. You'll want to go kill ethiene for her belt and then mordus for your 3rd source point. You'll usually be level 12 at this time just from the exploration and couple kills.

Your Shield Warrior should at this point be fully operational.

1 Pyro (ideally from items)
2 Necro (ideally from items)
2 Huntsman (ideally from items)
2 Poly
10 Warfare
XX Scoundrel (as high as you can after Warfare is done)

Max Wits - any extra points start putting into con - obviously keep barely enough finness/str to use gear.

Make sure you pick up spider legs at level 9. This will normally be the last spell you get. Honorable mention to corpse explosion which is actually very efficient damage.

If you want you can grab living on the edge. Our group bans it so we don't use it.

Consumables

We make lots of love grenades and tremor grenades. We buy lots of scrolls but notable rain scrolls and ice fan scrolls should be held by this character. Often after the first round the mages you have will have dropped the magic armor of multiple enemies. You can rain and then ice fan for a total of 3ap to CC up to 3 enemies. Only use the scrolls don't put points in hydro.

Mind maggot grenades are great. You get like 6 in the game and they are incredibly OP.

Use your weapon as a crit stick and upgrade it on the 3rd island to the 15% crit weapon. You'll never need anything else. Expect around 80% crit rate near end game for your shield throws. Prioritize crit and wits on every piece.

Skin Graft is banned from our runs but obviously if you use skin graft the character is twice as strong. Two shield toss crits on the opening turn will kill anything.

Glass Cannon, All Skilled Up, Savage Sortilege, Picture of Health, What a Rush (replace all skilled up at lvl 14) - Last talent is up to your preference. We try to end our campaigns at as low a level as possible so we sometimes don't get the 5th talent.

--------------------------------------

Keep in mind that your 2nd character can have zero initiative and still be 3rd place due to how the round robin system works. This is a huge itemization advantage and so the 2nd character can really focus more on raw stats/crit.

What a rush works really well with Death Wish. It might be considered a bit of abuse buy my shield warrior goes into combat very low in health (MOST times). We are actually banning this behavior going forward in our campaigns as it similar to pre-buffing which we have also banned.

Last note - if you haven't banned teleport and netherswap there is a better version of this character that focuses on gather up enemies on turn one and locking them down with spider goop so that casters can just finish the fight on the first turn.


Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649391
12/09/18 04:02 AM
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miaasma Offline
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Originally Posted by CharityDiary

Again, I DO NOT CARE if you "thought" Lone Wolf was "overpowered". Not like you were gonna use it anyway, even if your opinion was valid. Only thing you're accomplishing is ruining the fun of players who don't want to control 4 characters at once.

i have used lone wolf and i still do

both of our opinions are "valid" as they represent our own experiences

i'm just telling you that if you understand this game in any moderate capacity you understand that lone wolf is still absurdly strong and makes the game a breeze. my friend and i are currently in the last act, doing far better in fights than we have any business doing, with a sub-optimal team playing with our brains turned half off and making mistakes all the time

if you're having trouble on lone wolf, the game is not the problem, sorry

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: Tredvolt] #649400
12/09/18 11:38 AM
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Linio Offline

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Originally Posted by Tredvolt
I have optimized a character that I call the "Shield Warrior" that I feel is incredibly overpowered in total execution. The character works on all difficulty levels and is somewhat the backbone to all of our party configurations. He has changed and adapted over many runs to what he is now, but has existed with several different iterations.

Shield Warrior



Again an interesting read, I assume there's no Lone Wolf on this scenario, since I'm reading this is incompatible with Glass Canon.
Not sure I would go on such an extent to try and optimize that much.
I'll try a run with Lone Wolf on two character, I'll try to do a warfare one and the other... Don't know, I was thinking invocation which seem pretty powerful as it is.
Maybe not such a good idea, I'll see...

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649414
12/09/18 03:50 PM
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It is just stronger with Lone Wolf - You get to fill your skills up faster and dive into con much faster. Just swap glass for lone and that is pretty much it.

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649509
14/09/18 01:07 PM
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fragonard Offline
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Hi Tredvolt, I decided to give your shield build a try and respecced my level 11 lead with Warfare, Poly, etc. but even with the best shield I can find I do only 140 damage. My companions' blood and farsight infused incarnates do 400 per turn between Mosq. swarm and ranged attack. This doesn't seem right. I'm sure you know what you're doing so what am I missing? Are there special hand placed shields required for this to work at lower levels? The control potential with with spider legs and Medusa head work well but the shield part doesn't.

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649511
14/09/18 01:45 PM
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shield throw deal damage based on shield's phys resist. and it's augmented only by warfare. so you need the best shield of your level or higher …. preferably with socket. to insert a masterwork rune there (preferably large+).
usually my necro (which is the main character I use with shield) deal more damage then mosquito swarm with his throw(especially with a crit). so maybe you've missed something in your build?

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649521
14/09/18 04:09 PM
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I don't use a shield on the first island. On the second island there is a shield that I in the lonewolf camp that has a lot of armor on it and I grab that as soon as I can. You need spirit vision and to have talked to the advocate but none of that requires any fighting.

Slynx was right about the masterwork rune too. That needs to be a priority. Also max your warfare and then your scoundrel for good crits. Make sure you are running savage sortilege on a wits based build. I think the first shield I throw (against ethiene in act 2) usually does ~1000 damage on a crit.

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649523
14/09/18 04:43 PM
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OK, I'll try to find the shield in the camp, that may be a big factor.

SlynxJewel, my guy does more damage with the shield too, I was referring to the Incarnate champion's mosquito swarm. This is a 4-man party so I don't have the points yet to put into scoundrel but I have maxed Warfare. Maybe level 11 is too low for a non-LW build.

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #649592
16/09/18 01:17 AM
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For anyone who's still interested in this topic, I found the shield and it makes a huge difference, over double the damage. Available at level 10 but as good as you might expect at level 15.

Re: Lone Wolf now makes 2nd half much harder [Re: CharityDiary] #657527
05/12/19 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tredvolt
I don't use a shield on the first island. On the second island there is a shield that I in the lonewolf camp that has a lot of armor on it and I grab that as soon as I can. You need spirit vision and to have talked to the advocate but none of that requires any fighting.

Slynx was right about the masterwork rune too. That needs to be a priority. Also max your warfare and then your scoundrel for good crits. Make sure you are running savage sortilege on a wits based build. I think the first shield I throw (against ethiene in act 2) usually does ~1000 damage on a crit.


Hi, I just started playing the game with a friend. I am doing the exact build Tredvolt posted above for the shield thrower warrior, but I am having some trouble carrying my weight in the 1st island (we are still level 3, two players, me and a geomancer mage). Any tips on what to do on those 1st levels where we stack wits and don't have the shield nor warfare yet?

Thanks!

Last edited by vometia; 05/12/19 03:03 PM. Reason: formatting

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