ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:37 am 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:10 am
Posts: 8
Hi Folks,

I've been hitting a wall after The Master on Normal. I've been able to beat The Master with Bulwark (Dwarf and Orc) and Alchemist. Power creep seems to accelerate pretty quickly after that. For the Alchemist, I seem so struggle killing the numerous orc heroes trying to get to the portal to the East. For the Bulwark, I think it may have been a bad RNG wall. I encountered a hero when crossing into the east which was completely immune to physical attacks. Both characters have maxed Thick Skin. Damage is not an issue for either character, survivability is.

I've been trying Archmage (I have wildfire unlocked), Arcane Blade and Cursed. I like the latter two classes but still struggle getting them to the point of beating The Master. Having played Bulwark and Alchemist a lot, I've gotten too used to auto-explore I think.

In early game, I've been focusing on + health and status immunity. Once I get close to heading East, what kind of items should I be looking for to close the gap on survivability? How does a Bulwark kill a physical immune hero (s this high armor hardiness?)

I noticed a lot of the guides on this forum focus on Insane. Do RNG numbers have a bigger range with this difficulty? I am struggling to understand how so many guides skip Constitution and only get Thick Skin by using item stat buffs. I can't see doing this until late game on normal. I'm lucky to find enough combined +Con items by The Master to maybe get ~10-12 to my stat.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:31 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:55 pm
Posts: 152
The thing about Insane+ difficulty is that the enemies drop much better equipment than you would usually find on Normal. Hence you have greater chance at stacking +Con gear to get Thick Skin or other such tricks.

My question for you is: what infusions/runes are you using? Smart use of these is key to survival at any level.

As an aside, I almost never go out of my way to get Thick Skin on my characters until very late game. The %15 reduction, while nice, is not enough on its own to keep you alive. Those generics are better spent elsewhere before going East, in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:29 am 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:10 am
Posts: 8
Thank you for the reply. For Bulwark, it is regeneration, heal, physical wild to start. Then movement when I can unlock the fourth. For Alchemist, typically two shields and a phase door or teleport to start. Physical wild later on.

For the other classes I've tried (Arcane blade, cursed, archmage) I have not reached far enough to really get going. I typically reset if I die more than once prior to level 15.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:00 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
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What level are you by the time you try Reknor? You might be missing out on a few levels by missing some optional content.

Also, a big concern here is you saying "How does a Bulwark kill a physical immune hero (s this high armor hardiness?)". It sounds like you don't understand the armour mechanics or possibly haven't fully learned how to inspect enemies properly. There should be no doubt about the source of your low damage.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:15 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:39 pm
Posts: 318
As an alchemist on normal difficulty the endgame should not be this hard. You should be able to survive by hiding behind your golem and bombing stuff to death.

Could you link a dead character? Then we could maybe understand what is going on here.

Also: there is no shame in pumping con and getting at least 3/5 Thick Skin for some 10% resist all. The final two points are a lot less important and can wait until the end game.

alsiaie wrote:
For Alchemist, typically two shields and a phase door or teleport to start. Physical wild later on.


Shield + Regen + Movement is better for the early game. It depends on how good the best regen and shields are that you find, but having a way to heal is usually better than two shields.

For escaping it is best to have both a movement infusion and a torque of psychoportation.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:55 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sun May 19, 2013 1:58 am
Posts: 737
I'm pretty sure you're supposed to hit a difficulty spike around Dreadfell/Reknor, I know I did when I was first starting out. As for Thick Skin, I usually don't get it until late, usually after level 30. To survive, I focus very highly on defense in terms of equipment though, valuing armor, life, and healmod above most other stats. I also do a lot of corner and LoS abuse, even on melee characters; hit and run is a good strategy against hard enemies. It is notable that gear is way better on average on Insane, since most randuniques and randbosses means more randarts, but I don't think this offsets the increase of power of enemies.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:11 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:25 pm
Posts: 115
bpat wrote:
I'm pretty sure you're supposed to hit a difficulty spike around Dreadfell/Reknor, I know I did when I was first starting out.


Interesting. I've found that for me, the difficulty spike comes around the Mark of the Spellblaze/Dreadfell period, and then Reknor and the following dungeons are comparatively easy. That's my experience on Normal at any rate.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:46 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
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I think the difficulty spike at Dreadfell is an artefact from when it was the endgame.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:54 am 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:10 am
Posts: 8
I did end up giving an ogre Wyrmic weapon proc build a try. It was pretty interesting. The inquisitor's mace I found (see inventory) was found very early well before dreadfall. I'd imagine forcing cooldowns was the way to go for procs. I hit a wall in the far east with some damage spikes at the back door of Vor. Also could not kill the end boss in the underwater cave. For Vor, I was lacking fire resistance for sure. For the cave, the boss kept getting stuck at 25% health left and would heal back. By the time I reached that step, mostly everything was on cool down so I couldn't finish the job.

http://te4.org/characters/207866/tome/7 ... aad=207866

bpat wrote:
I'm pretty sure you're supposed to hit a difficulty spike around Dreadfell/Reknor, I know I did when I was first starting out. As for Thick Skin, I usually don't get it until late, usually after level 30. To survive, I focus very highly on defense in terms of equipment though, valuing armor, life, and healmod above most other stats. I also do a lot of corner and LoS abuse, even on melee characters; hit and run is a good strategy against hard enemies. It is notable that gear is way better on average on Insane, since most randuniques and randbosses means more randarts, but I don't think this offsets the increase of power of enemies.


I've been looking for healmod and life. RNG has not been generous with these. Life for me seems to show up on cloaks but very rarely on anything else. When it does, it's a crap green item. Healmod is even more rare for me. I have been saving items when I can to swap for elemental resistance though. For alchemist, are folks using heavy armor or just going with mage robes?

grobblewobble wrote:
As an alchemist on normal difficulty the endgame should not be this hard. You should be able to survive by hiding behind your golem and bombing stuff to death.

Could you link a dead character? Then we could maybe understand what is going on here.

Also: there is no shame in pumping con and getting at least 3/5 Thick Skin for some 10% resist all. The final two points are a lot less important and can wait until the end game.

alsiaie wrote:
For Alchemist, typically two shields and a phase door or teleport to start. Physical wild later on.


Shield + Regen + Movement is better for the early game. It depends on how good the best regen and shields are that you find, but having a way to heal is usually better than two shields.

For escaping it is best to have both a movement infusion and a torque of psychoportation.


I don't have a link to share for a Bulwark or Alchemist. I can try changing up the infusions, no problem. Psychoportation has been found from time to time but as the statement above, I have had runs all the way to dreadfall without finding a single one.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:23 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
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Link borked.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:37 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:39 pm
Posts: 318
Psychoportation: the charm shop in the Thalore town sometimes sells one, always check.

In case you still don't find one, yes you need a Teleport.

alsiaie wrote:
I've been looking for healmod and life. RNG has not been generous with these. Life for me seems to show up on cloaks but very rarely on anything else. When it does, it's a crap green item.

+Life on items is very important. You should be able to find a lamp with +40 life on it in most games. Check the lamp shop in Derth. With a little luck you can find one with +40 life and +4 light radius.
Do not think green items are crap! Green items are often the best in slot. A green lamp with +40 health is much better than most blue or purple lamps with a long list of small and irrelevant modifiers.

alsiaie wrote:
For alchemist, are folks using heavy armor or just going with mage robes?

You should decide based on what you find. If you find a great robe, go for it; if you find a nice leather or heavy armor "of eyal", you might want to wear that.
Always get armour training 1/5 at the very least and do not hesitate to get 3/5 if you found a great heavy armor.

And to repeat: your most important defense is your golem. Make sure he gets good shield runes to make him as durable as possible.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:31 am 
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Wayist

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:07 am
Posts: 22
You talk about "auto-explore".
It's perfetcly safe to use it, even in Nightmare or Insane. I play with it, and won multiple times.
Insane+, it's better to start each new level by hand.. As soon as you have 1-2 corridors or safe place to retreat, you can autoexplore.

BUT....

Vision is extremely important with auto-explore !

You will die to autoexplore, if you don't have min 5 light or infravison for the 10-15s level, and min 8 after. (Autoexplore will stop you 2 squares from a nasty Unique if you have just 2 lights, and your golem will be behind you... ).

If you are unlucky, and don't find stuff with light/infravision, don't be afraid to put some points in Heightened senses . Lot of classes have this category unlock.
(You can find equipement with light/infra on many slots. Even on staff).
(You should have some "detect invisibilty/stealth" for Dreadfell too).

Damage penetration is important too.

Last word: Alchemist is a good class for the beginning of the game. But it's not one of the strongest... And the more the game advance, the more difficult is it with Alchemist. Archmage/Berseker is easier (more defensive tools, more escapes).
But you can equip whatever armor you want for Alchemist... Usually mana is not an issue for them.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:23 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:39 pm
Posts: 318
seewen wrote:
Last word: Alchemist is a good class for the beginning of the game. But it's not one of the strongest... And the more the game advance, the more difficult is it with Alchemist. Archmage/Berseker is easier (more defensive tools, more escapes).

I beg to differ. Alchemist does not scale well on insane, but on normal difficulty it is absolutely one of the easiest classes to win with. And gets stronger the more the game progresses.

If you stack your damage type your bombs vaporize all monsters on the screen instantly. Very simple play, hard to do it wrong.

Archmage is a high-power high-skill class: much easier to screw up. (Not activating your shields at the right moment.) Berserker is also pretty easy to get yourself into a mess if you misplay.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:11 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:10 am
Posts: 8
I've made some attempts with both Berserker and Archmage. Not a fan. Alchemist can do it. Damage is not the issue. Quick deaths are. Ive been picking up hightened senses from escorts when I can but I never invested generic points into it. For melee classes, I never really pay attention much to light raduis. I have noticed it more impacting alchemist. I will check out point investment instead of escorts. For stat investment, I've been doing 2 magic, 1 Con (after getting Con to about 25 to start).

What about the golem? I have not seen a lot of chatter about it. I typically do 2 shields and damage runes (other than acid). I stop adding strength at 28 for armor requirements and the rest goes into magic. 5/5 eye beams. 1h/shield for weapons. Hit procs as a priority. I like to unlock the advance golem tree at 10, not to get points in it right away but not having to wait until level 20. But when I can, I get a point in supecharge since this is a life saver. 3/5 in runic golem later on. I don't put more than 1/1 in gem golem until I can at least get some Tier 3 gems.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:56 pm 
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Wayist

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:07 am
Posts: 22
alsiaie wrote:
I've made some attempts with both Berserker and Archmage. Not a fan. Alchemist can do it. Damage is not the issue. Quick deaths are. Ive been picking up hightened senses from escorts when I can but I never invested generic points into it. For melee classes, I never really pay attention much to light raduis. I have noticed it more impacting alchemist. I will check out point investment instead of escorts. For stat investment, I've been doing 2 magic, 1 Con (after getting Con to about 25 to start).

.


I didn't talk about damage. But more about defensives tools, which (imo) alchemist lack. But long time I didn't play in normal, maybe I'm wrong about it, like grobblewobble said.

But Infravision/light... It's really important if you play autoexplore.
If you have 10 of light/infra, your character will stop 10 feets away from ennemies (assuming no obstacle/invis/etc.).
Usually, 10 feets aways, very few ennemies have so much vision.
So you can either:
a) kill it before it even sees you.
b) damage it a lot, and back in a corridor.

Now assume you have 2-3 lights/infra only (and you are in dark place).
Autoexplore would stop you 2-3 squares from ennemies. BUT, ennemy usually detect you before. So it wil attack you, then autoexplore deactivate.
If it's dangerous ennemy you will be damaged and/or debuffed. You have the choice:
a) Retreat, heal-
b) try to kill it before it kills you.

etc... You see what I mean.

You have plenty of generics/class point.
So it's really not a big deal to "loose" 3-4 pts, just to counter bad luck with item, if you lack light/infra.
You can even "float" those points in "hightened senses" if you are really afraid to be short of generics.

But it's more important to have ~10light/infra, than having 3/5 "thick skin" for example...

Of course, if you are lucky with item... no need to put any pts in "hightened senses"

-----

EDIT: Golem
Golem is more a tank, a decoy, than a damage dealer.
So you should continue to up his strengh. So it may equip tier 4/5 armor as soon as possible.

EDIT 2: Your armor.
2 magic / 1 other is great for leveling.
You could try 2 mag /1 str, just to be able to try massive armor too.
Like I said, fatigue is not a big deal for alchemist... But massive armor may be a life saver in some fights.

EDIT 3: Escort
Try to gain "Vitality" from warrior escort too. 1pt wonder.


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