Finished a 2nd game... Ionae, Charlotte, Enshandu. Thoughts

 
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Davzz
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:43 pm    Post subject: Finished a 2nd game... Ionae, Charlotte, Enshandu. Thoughts Reply with quote
Well, I just beat the game with 2 Riflemen and 1 Priest on Normal mode, and here are some observations I had. I'm not sure how many of them are new observations but I'll list them down anyway.

- Powder Imps and Smokescreen with two characters at the same time didn't work as well as I thought it would when I first started playing, the barrier isn't affected by Smokescreen.

- Surprisingly the MVP strategy of this combination was

Ionae - Empowder Charlotte
Enshandu - Bless Charlotte
Charlotte - Explosive Shell

All on overdrive, of course. Unlike complicated set-ups involving Knights and Charge, you can put this skill in a party chain and simply use it. I managed to take down Principle Armors in one go with this move and severely weaken the poor sap behind it.

So it seems that if you have someone else using Enpowder, that Explosive Shell is pretty useful. If you only had one Rifleman I don't think it's possibly to overdrive both Enpowder and Explosive Shell though.

- As a general rule, Explosive Shell only seems usable if you're going to charge it up.

Also, timing it is important which is annoying, because a wrongly timed Explosive shell means you waste the "splash damage"

I think if it were made to always hit the next target in a row, it would be much more attractive to use.

- Anyone with Empowder seems to spend their entire time using it, it's the most useful of the assistant skills IMO. I thought Ionae would make for my back-up Black Bullet user but I think the only time I used it was against the hallucinations in Chapter 8.

- Bless and Damn were kind of useful, but only when in overdrive IMO. Also they don't seem to benefit much from skill points, Damn more so than Bless seems silly in that regard, because it goes up in single digits when you spend points on it. It would be nice if the percentage reduction went up when spending points.

Meanwhile, Bless doesn't go up much with skill points too, but for some reason it seems that there are a whole lot of equipment with Bless, and they made up about a good 10+ levels worth which is much more than I would get from spending all possible points I could on it. Odd.

- The equipment which "Damns One" overwrites any existing Damn, which is annoying if you already have a better one in place.

- Equipment can give Chi to people who don't have it, although it doesn't seem to refill. Once you use it up, it's gone and it probably won't quite make a difference if you don't already have a pool anyway.

- Didn't quite like the Ionae plot twist, I was... expecting a different revelation. I dunno.

- Bitten Fields and Frostmaw Rinks are still the hardest part of the game. Vampire crypt thing was as easy as I remember it being during my first run though. The former should be toned down a little while the latter tuned up.

- I wish it was possible to sell items for money without merchant slots, because I had invested most of my cash in items and wanted to dump them for the superior ones at the last two merchants... but couldn't.

- Still didn't use Flashbang despite the slight buff it has...

Well, that's all my thoughts for now, comments and what's not on the deeper workings on the game would be appreciated.
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Brickman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I agree that, once you start using Enpowder, you find it to be the most powerful assist there is, but it is limited by the fact that it only works well on certain attacks and those aren't always the attacks you want to use.

Smokescreen doesn't actually stack well with any defensive skills except the priest's heal and aurora. Imps can't dodge, brace will still use up a hit if you dodge, and fortify gives more benefit the more times you're hit.

Damn may only go up in the single digits, but most attack skills late in the game don't do much more, and damn is not intended to be used for one crippling attack--it's intended to be used for several attacks, which makes its bonuses add up. You're supposed to use damn, then have everyone attack the victim (possibly after assisting before damn was cast), then have everyone attack the victim again.

There's a few equipments that also have a "recharge chi" ability, like the original ring of deflection, but anything without it is intended to be worn by your priest. Still, if you look at is as a health bonus it's often better than actual health bonuses (downside being armor doesn't work).

I was fine with Ionae's plot twist, but I was a little disappointed that her illusion taunts her with an insinuation about her choice being affected by being in love with PyanPau (he was my second party member the run I used her) which was more or less never explored (though it was somewhat visible at the ending), wheras Charlotte and Kaltos's love subplot nearly defined their personal plots my first run.

I still maintain that chapter 8, all of it, is harder than chapter 6, any of it. Though I suppose if your default skill chain setup specialized in concussive damage and breaking armor. . .

I too was annoyed at first by the item selling limits, but you can deal with it by just throwing away worthless items like rings of health and anyting else from the first two chapters, and by always selling unneeded items until every shop's inventory was full before cutting off your ability to return to it.

When you say "one go", do you mean you actually killed the fortified armors with one attack, or just on your first try?
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Davzz
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
When you say "one go", do you mean you actually killed the fortified armors with one attack, or just on your first try?


One attack, it dealt more than 2000 damage which was enough to take them down. I was pretty surprised myself too, considering how much trouble I had with them on my first run...
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Mark Pay
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the feedback Davzz! It's always interesting to read. I like your party setup, and I'm glad to hear that it worked well enough.

Quote:
Also, timing it is important which is annoying, because a wrongly timed Explosive shell means you waste the "splash damage"

I think if it were made to always hit the next target in a row, it would be much more attractive to use.


Most skills risk being wasted if they're not timed properly, and I don't think Explosive Shell requires too much more care in use. I think the current distance-constrained check for splash damage 'feels' most appropriate. It'd seem odd ( almost lazy programming Smile ) if it stretched to hit the next target.

Quote:
If you only had one Rifleman I don't think it's possibly to overdrive both Enpowder and Explosive Shell though.


No it's not, the Enpowder will expire after 75 cycles.

Quote:
Anyone with Empowder seems to spend their entire time using it, it's the most useful of the assistant skills IMO. I thought Ionae would make for my back-up Black Bullet user but I think the only time I used it was against the hallucinations in Chapter 8.


It's good I think, but only combined with concussive damage. The shortage of concussive-immune/resistant enemies helps.

Quote:
- The equipment which "Damns One" overwrites any existing Damn, which is annoying if you already have a better one in place.


Yes it is. The trouble is that there's only one stored value for Damn on the target and it would be difficult to add more and test for the highest.
Taking the next most complex implementation with a single value, and checking for an existing Damn before applying, might waste the effect by leaving a normal Damn just about to expire. Maybe a calculation of remaining effectiveness? I'll keep it in mind.

Spread-out MMF code is a tedious nightmare to maintain. Sad I knew this going in and I've had to deal with it. I'll hopefully be avoiding this situation with my next project.

Quote:
- Bless and Damn were kind of useful, but only when in overdrive IMO. Also they don't seem to benefit much from skill points, Damn more so than Bless seems silly in that regard, because it goes up in single digits when you spend points on it. It would be nice if the percentage reduction went up when spending points.


Bless especially has the trouble of requiring a range of values smaller than the number of skill points you can spend in it. :/ I'm intending to ever-so-slightly buff it in the next patch.
As Brickman says, Damn is intended to be used with multiple following attacks. You can get about 8 in I think with the duration, and that single-digit bonus really adds up.
Increasing the percentage with points would overpower it, I think.

Quote:
- Equipment can give Chi to people who don't have it, although it doesn't seem to refill. Once you use it up, it's gone and it probably won't quite make a difference if you don't already have a pool anyway.


This is intentional. You should get a little bit of it back when a character recovers.

Quote:
- Didn't quite like the Ionae plot twist, I was... expecting a different revelation. I dunno.


I saw it more of a confirmation than a revelation. With both her and Batiste I had to make a choice on how hard to try and obscure their true nature in the early game. With Ionae especially I decided to not bother and run in the other direction, having fun with her blatantly odd behaviour and possibly planting the expectation that there *is* a twist.

Quote:
- Bitten Fields and Frostmaw Rinks are still the hardest part of the game. Vampire crypt thing was as easy as I remember it being during my first run though. The former should be toned down a little while the latter tuned up.


This seems to be a common feeling. I'm looking at tweaking them down a tiny bit.

Quote:
- I wish it was possible to sell items for money without merchant slots, because I had invested most of my cash in items and wanted to dump them for the superior ones at the last two merchants... but couldn't.


Yeah, me too. Sad This is another one of those entrenched early design decisions that would take a lot of work for a small fix. In practical terms it doesn't make much difference because you only have to throw away cheap junk, but it is annoying.

Quote:
- Still didn't use Flashbang despite the slight buff it has...


Awww. Smile It doesn't suck.

For Brickman:

Quote:
I was fine with Ionae's plot twist, but I was a little disappointed that her illusion taunts her with an insinuation about her choice being affected by being in love with PyanPau (he was my second party member the run I used her) which was more or less never explored (though it was somewhat visible at the ending), wheras Charlotte and Kaltos's love subplot nearly defined their personal plots my first run.


I hadn't actually intended this, though I'm certainly not opposed to it because they do make quite a cute odd-couple, especially in their specific dialogues in C1 and C4. Now I'm hoping that the C8 illusion dialogues aren't getting mixed up... Surprised
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Brickman
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Ionae's illusion taunts her that she gave up immortality "For what? To be violated by that human?" Seems pretty straightforward to me, but wasn't even vaguely hinted at before that point.
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Rogue
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Davzz wrote:
- Powder Imps and Smokescreen with two characters at the same time didn't work as well as I thought it would when I first started playing, the barrier isn't affected by Smokescreen.

It would pretty much break the game if Powder Imps could dodge.

Quote:
- Surprisingly the MVP strategy of this combination was

Ionae - Empowder Charlotte
Enshandu - Bless Charlotte
Charlotte - Explosive Shell

It's a good strategy, but I believe you would inflict more damage if you blessed Ionae rather than Charlotte. The damage that empowder does is increased more than the damage of explosive shell by leveling up, and thus is increased more by bless as well. I'm also not sure if going into overdrive all the time is the best strategy. Sure, you'll do a lot of damage when you attack, but you waste a good deal of energy in the process. I think it's only effective to go into overdrive against enemies who have very high armour (it's definitely wasted against enemies that just have resistance). I guess it might be important for the splash damage.

Quote:
- Bless and Damn were kind of useful, but only when in overdrive IMO. Also they don't seem to benefit much from skill points, Damn more so than Bless seems silly in that regard, because it goes up in single digits when you spend points on it. It would be nice if the percentage reduction went up when spending points.


Bless is awesome, especially with Charge. For example, in West Ascension with my level 83 party consisting of Kaltos, Enshadu, and Charlotte, with proper equipment and optimized stats, a charged Thunderstrike deals 1264 damage (Kaltos didn't have the Strength Ring equiped, so this could be a bit higher) to the riflemen and pikemen. If you bless Kaltos, the charged thunderstrike deals 1838 damage, a 574 damage difference. This would be reduced if the blesser was angry, but it would still be very effective. Time doesn't reduce the duration of bless, only using skills that are affected by bless reduces its duration. Charge isn't affected by bless, and you can use attacks affected by bless 3 times, meaning you can use this souped up thunderstrike 3 times. Assuming that there are 3 enemies with no concussive resistance(no enemies in West Ascension have concussive resistance) the single bless you did at the beginning can potentially contribute to 574 * 3 * 3 or 5166 damage! Granted most enemies don't survive long enough for you to get the full benefit, but still.

Empowder further increases the damage of the charged thunderstrike to 2200 damage, the damage difference is 362.This only lasts for a single attack, in effect adding a 'mere' 1086 damage (though it's all dealt in a single turn, unlike the extra damage you get from bless). In addition, you can bless Charlotte, which further boosts the damage of the Thunderstrike to 2381, a difference of 181. I put out smokescreens to pad out the duration of the musketeer's bless (smokescreen isn't affected by bless) while protecting my team, and only empowder when my knight is using his charged Thunderstrike. This means bless can potentially contribute to an additional 1629 damage through empowder over the course of 6 turns.

Whether or not bless or empowder contributes to more damage in a single turn changes over the course of the game dependent on what equipment you have and what mood your characters are in, but bless is generally an incredibly good move to use on a charging knight, and pretty good for other uses as well.

I find Damn quite useful for bypassing Chi with magic damage. It's not essential (which is good for teams with PyanPau) but still helpful. Usually Chi users have low health so even small amounts of extra damage are actually significant.

Quote:
Meanwhile, Bless doesn't go up much with skill points too, but for some reason it seems that there are a whole lot of equipment with Bless, and they made up about a good 10+ levels worth which is much more than I would get from spending all possible points I could on it. Odd.


Equipment is more effective at boosting bless than training, but I still think that the additional boost you get from training on top of the boost you get from equipment is well worth it if you use bless a lot.

Quote:
- Equipment can give Chi to people who don't have it, although it doesn't seem to refill. Once you use it up, it's gone and it probably won't quite make a difference if you don't already have a pool anyway.


Chi is somewhat decent on musketeers if you have something that recharges it well. Their high dodge stretches it out a bit. I wouldn't recommend it for a knight though. Chi doesn't take advantage of their high defense, and they have so many ways for their real health to be recovered and protected that it doesn't seem worth it. A bit of chi certainly doesn't hurt though.

Quote:
- Didn't quite like the Ionae plot twist, I was... expecting a different revelation. I dunno.


Ionae is awesome.

Quote:
- Bitten Fields and Frostmaw Rinks are still the hardest part of the game. Vampire crypt thing was as easy as I remember it being during my first run though. The former should be toned down a little while the latter tuned up


In the Cristoff Family Crypt, if you like to empowder thunderstrikes or explosive shells and have a party built for it you're going to beat it quite easily. A team like that is pretty much tailor made to beat it, which is why it was so easy for you. I had quite a bit of trouble in that dungeon the first time through since I was using a defensive team, I had trouble finishing off the deep masses before they healed (I was playing on hard mode as well). I found the Bitten Fields much easier by comparison, though I did have trouble with Frostmaw Rink at first (defensive team... yeah).

There are many good strategies for beating Bitten Fields and Frostmaw Rink easily. After I was familiar with the game I only found Frostmaw Rink especially difficult with a three priest team on absurd mode. I do think that different strategies are needed that aren't used in the rest of the game. But I think it's good that it shakes things up a bit. It's true that some people have been having trouble, but it's one of my favorite parts of the game combat wise. For one thing I can't just plow through it with super charged Thunderstrikes like just about everywhere else.

Quote:
- Still didn't use Flashbang despite the slight buff it has...


Flashbang was good before the buff, now it's just broken. Ok, slight exaggeration, but still, extremely fun and useful move. I don't know why people wouldn't use it.

Brickman wrote:

I was fine with Ionae's plot twist, but I was a little disappointed that her illusion taunts her with an insinuation about her choice being affected by being in love with PyanPau (he was my second party member the run I used her) which was more or less never explored (though it was somewhat visible at the ending), wheras Charlotte and Kaltos's love subplot nearly defined their personal plots my first run.


Quote:
Ionae's illusion taunts her that she gave up immortality "For what? To be violated by that human?" Seems pretty straightforward to me, but wasn't even vaguely hinted at before that point.


What??? You seem to have completely misread the meaning of the line, which is said regardless of what party members you have. I believe the actual line was "You gave it all away Ionae, for what? So that you can be violated by this 'lowly worm'?". Granted 'lowly worm' is typical condescending demon speak for human, but Ionae just called her (or more precisely, Ick Thelloth) a 'lowly worm'. So when Dead Ionae said 'lowly worm', she was referring to herself, Ick Thelloth. And I believe violated means to be killed in a horrible way in this context. Dead Ionae wanted Ionae to feel as though she had given up all her immortality and power for nothing but misery and death in the end. She wasn't referring to the actual reason that Ionae decided to stay human.
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Brickman
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Err, yeah, that makes a lot more sense. A LOT more sense. Changes the meaning of her ending slightly (or possibly doesn't), but you're surely right. What can I say? Give me terms with double meanings in a story that's completely missing its love subplot. . .
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Davzz
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for all the replies guys, although I still can't quite see the use of Flashbang. I don't really know why.

Anyway, I'm thinking I should probably have named this thread something that can serve for future expansion, since I plan on doing more 2 class + 1 other class runs. Never really liked to do "3 same classes" runs except "3 Mages run" back in TSE 1 just because it was thought to be impossible but I want to see what happens to battles when you're missing some major functions, such as Aurora making you awesome at tanking magic attacks.

Ah well, I'll either add on it to this thread or make a new one when I get around to doing that.
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Brickman
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well if you liked the three mages run, sharpshooters are effectively this game's mages. You get way too much dodge to really be true to the challenge, but you're still without nonitem healing, without chi and your armor sucks, so you may have trouble on some of the bosses.
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Heresiarch Without A Hope



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for this post. I just finished my first game with the basic knight/musketeer/priest set-up, and was interested in using this set up in a future game, but considered it a bit daunting not having a knight on board.
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