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> "All mage party" experiment
fischsemmel
post Jun 3 2020, 02:22 PM
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So a week or so ago, already bored by my newest money challenge character, I decided I wanted to act on an old threat I made in a different party thread about playing a "party of 4 evil mages." My vision for it was each character basically self sufficient so that I could have any one of the four members up front and actively selected to make use of mage crest/charm spells/companions, nukes for dangerous enemies, etc., while still having scavenger levels to have some protection from thieving and not need to swap characters every 3 rooms when there's a chest I need to unlock/disarm.

Of course I know the manual says companions in full parties are dangerous, and I know it's a boatload of exp to worry about trying to keep characters leveled in more than 2 guilds, but I thought I'd give it a shot.


As usual for me, I started with a clean install of Mordor. I elected to make 4 humans instead of the initial "1 of each race that can be a mage" I was picturing, since the lower exp requirement and access to all of the OLP for every character seemed important for this oddball party that won't have a Healer or a Thief. I put each character into warrior immediately at creation (3 with excess stats in con to try to reduce the time it takes to max everyone's con, 1 with excess stats in dex and wisdom I think trying to get closer to charm of opening). It was pretty disheartening early on, sitting at 11 nomad/11 warrior (and one guy also at 11 scavenger), trying to scrounge up the tomes I needed without being able to open magical chesets yet, without being able to heal basically at all. It did only take 5-6 hours to max con on the scavenger though, even though he only started with 10 con, so he got to start leveling up in warrior, scavenger, and nomad. By 7-8 hours the scav's levels and int/wis were high enough he could partially ID gear so the gold got a bit easier to come by, which was nice. Even with the tome ID trick, having all 4 characters the same alignment meant I had piles of evil and neutral tomes sitting around waiting for me to have enough gold to spare to ID them all fully so I could combine and realign in bulk.

Around 10 hours I got a 2nd guy to max con, didnt join a new guild with him before my 3rd guy maxed. I spent gold on getting someone into sorcerer so I could start nuking slaver rooms without taking so much damage, and so I could work on buffs to go visit goblin shamans and lord. Notes say that at about 17 hours played, I maxed con on my last guy.

Around 21-22 hours I had a death, my first, and it was really disappointing. Everyone was up near 250 hits at this point, 30 nomad/30 warrior/20s sorc/magi/scav and starting to visit 4 for loot and exp. And I missed buffs on one of my guys and he got stoned by a hydra sad.gif

I'm now at about 25 hours played, all my guys are 30 nomad, 30 warrior. The scav is 30 scav and 28 wizard, so nearly able to start gaining OLP hits again! The magi are both at 29 with wizard around 20, and the sorc is 29 with wizard around 20.



I had a moment of doubt around this point, since my ages are around 23 even though I still need a couple more int and wis tomes per guy, and 3 of my guys are still only at 10 charisma (with 1 at 20). Minor healing supplemented with crystals/dusts of healing I find sometimes isn't cutting it since I trigger quite a few fire and exploding (and aging) traps down on 4 where I get nice experience still, and that won't change until after I've finished OLP with the scav. My "all mage party" still only has 2 mages, and neither can even cast soul entrapment yet! I need levels in like... everything... with everyone... laugh.gif

But I haven't given up on it yet. I tested dominate humanoid on some goblin guards yesterday to run around with the charmer up front with them to see how often they'd have friendly-fire incidents and it didn't seem too bad. I'm not sure if charming spellcasters would be best since I'll eventually have high resistances to protect against friendly fire... or just melee guys. I'm assuming I won't want any companions that can breath or spit even though those are the best sorts imo for when a mage is solo, because those attacks will cause so much damage to friendlies I think. We'll see.



"We'll see" is my motto atm I think. I've got 25 hours invested into the party and am not super optimistic about it even though it feels pretty strong clearing around with warrior melee and some nukes when needed and whatnot. But the huge amount of exp I'm chasing and the uncertainty of companion performance when I'm at higher levels ... who knows? The experiment continues!
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BLauritson
post Jun 4 2020, 06:51 AM
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Wow, I must say I really admire your persistence with this, especially in the face of such uncertainty.

It is an interesting experiment to be sure and it may actually turn out to surprise us all just how effective it is. Although I struggle to think of any examples right now I know I've seen plenty of instances in other games where seemingly unlikely party combinations can in fact be surprisingly powerful against all expectations.

Good luck with the experiment ok.gif


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fischsemmel
post Jun 4 2020, 01:42 PM
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QUOTE (BLauritson @ Jun 4 2020, 02:51 AM) *
Wow, I must say I really admire your persistence with this, especially in the face of such uncertainty.

It is an interesting experiment to be sure and it may actually turn out to surprise us all just how effective it is. Although I struggle to think of any examples right now I know I've seen plenty of instances in other games where seemingly unlikely party combinations can in fact be surprisingly powerful against all expectations.

Good luck with the experiment ok.gif


Thanks!

I mean, this is basically just my "solo good human" thread * 4 I guess. The idea of going into stud rooms on 15 with 16 companions, on having 4 mage crests to help me tank and spank my way through the depths, on being able to keep any of my 4 characters in the front and selected to manage spell points, etc., all seemed great. We'll see how it really works out!

Right now I need to work on not just plowing through rooms meleeing stuff down before I see what they are though. I've seen some wererats and wereboards that I remember getting quested for a lot in the past that I keep forgetting to charm (one guy can do soul entrapment now). I killed a bunch of centaurs before I finally remembered to charm one. And just now on the way to goblin shamans I ran into 3 daemons in one room (and killed them), then a swashbuckler in the next room (and killed him). Sigh.
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fischsemmel
post Jun 4 2020, 02:02 PM
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Ok. For real. My first ring off of the elf fella on floor 5 was a ring of entrapment. In a party where everyone is going to be a mage. The first one.

Literally the only game I've played where I didn't find a RoE REALLY quickly was the one game where I actually needed it, my solo osiri. And he NEVER found one even with a lot of specific farming efforts. laugh.gif
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BLauritson
post Jun 4 2020, 04:16 PM
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Ooh, that is painful! laugh.gif The RNG can be incredibly cruel sometimes.

I must admit I've always had a soft spot for mages in Mordor and so it's always saddened me a little that they seem to be a bit sidelined when it comes to guilds like Sorcerer and Healer in terms of sheer spell damage potential. So yeah, I'm really hoping this idea works out as hoped biggrin.gif


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fischsemmel
post Jun 4 2020, 11:18 PM
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QUOTE (BLauritson @ Jun 4 2020, 12:16 PM) *
Ooh, that is painful! laugh.gif The RNG can be incredibly cruel sometimes.

I must admit I've always had a soft spot for mages in Mordor and so it's always saddened me a little that they seem to be a bit sidelined when it comes to guilds like Sorcerer and Healer in terms of sheer spell damage potential. So yeah, I'm really hoping this idea works out as hoped biggrin.gif


Yeah. Mage is my favorite guild overall. The lack of non-mental damaging (opposes to killing) spells is basically the only shortcoming, but it's one that hurts quite a bit.

Although I kinda think that it's just that sorcerer is too strong of a guild so everything else seems lacking. If you ignore sorcerer and compare mage to healer or wizard, I think mage is certainly on par with healer and somewhat superior to wiz.

This post has been edited by fischsemmel: Jun 4 2020, 11:19 PM
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fischsemmel
post Jun 5 2020, 08:31 PM
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Plugged away at exping a little bit more today. I've just been meleeing my way through parts of 3-5 as I visit goblins, dwarven lord, cockatrice, and twisted elf, using most/all of the magician spell points on heals and the sorcerer points on buffs and acidic spray ocassionally and scavenger points on CoO. Everyone is up to 40 wizard now though, so I'm looking forward to finishing the optimal leveling path finally, probably later tonight, and then driving down my heal and buff and CoO costs!

My vision of each party member being interchangable is a long ways off I think, cause leveling 3 more scavengers is going to take a back seat to getting mage and warrior crests for everyone. But the party is working pretty well and I think will get relatively stronger going forward.
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fischsemmel
post Jun 9 2020, 02:07 PM
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Well I haven't been on a Mordor binge like I usually am when I start a new party, but I have been playing a little most days. I'm just about to sit down to plat an hour or so now. My scavenger is only 2 levels from getting the crest. Both mages and sorc are in the mid 40s now. Everyone is like 35 warrior, 30 nomad. I think I'll start bringing mage up with the scavenger too as soon as he hits 56, and then the sorc will level mage up to cresting once he dethrones Requnix. But I'm getting ahead of myself, since I've only been managing like 45 minute sessions before I want to take a break. laugh.gif
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fischsemmel
post Jun 17 2020, 09:42 PM
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Just been slowly working on gaining guild levels still. Mostly just roaming on floor 5, checking on goblin shaman and lord, cockatrice, twisted elf. Sometimes I take the teleporter route down to 6 and 7 and clear the lake areas, but this only tends to work especially well if I use my one guy with sorcerer levels to hit stuff with leprosy or acidic spray. The level 50ish mages don't hit hard enough with summon shade to clear groups well and the spell is still too expensive to be casting much since those mages are also my source of healing (which I need a fair amount of when I'm failing exploding and fire traps down there).

My most recent guild levels started off as "I'll just get warrior up to 52 with everyone so I can use all these adamantite daggers I have laying around" ... but I ended up deciding I'd get everyone their warrior crest too. Currently I just need 1-2 more levels with 2 guys to have all 4 crests. I would like to get more mage levels, but until all 4 of my guys get the mage crest, it's kinda not the best idea. I guess once I finish warrior levels for now I'll keep working on mage levels for my two guys who don't have that crest yet while the other two start leveling up scavenger.

I haven't been charming stuff on purpose except for rare monsters or other quests, but when I have had things offering to join, I really haven't been noticing much friendly fire, which makes me a bit optimistic that at least that one concern about the effectiveness of this party in the lower levels won't be a problem. I'm hoping my dungeon clearing and leveling will speed up a lot (like currently I will clear down to twisted elf, go kill cockatrice, clear up through dwarf lord and goblin shaman and then return to town and it will use basically all of my spells to do that and heal up; I can't go straight down to 6-7 and clear all the water without needing a return trip unless I lean very heavily on the sorcerer nukes) once I get to focus more on mage with everyone. Several free casts of soul entrapment for each party member each dungeon run will go a long ways to taking less damage in rooms I melee my way through, I'm thinking, even if it will be a long time before I can do much entraping when I'm not actively leveling mage... not to mention more nuking power in most situations and cheaper healing.


So yeah. It is still coming along! smile.gif

This post has been edited by fischsemmel: Jun 17 2020, 09:43 PM
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BLauritson
post Jun 18 2020, 06:47 AM
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Sounds great, I'm pleased to hear you're getting on well with this so far ok.gif


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MythrilZenith
post Jun 19 2020, 05:00 AM
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I've found that companions in party rarely hit party members, so that's not usually too much to worry about. The bigger issue is that if you carry around a lot of particularly dangerous companions, one stray hit could do a lot of damage - like if you somehow get a Medusa, for instance :grin:

The bigger issue about keeping that many companions in my experience is, well, keeping the companions. It's a lot to worry about, a lot of binds to re-apply, and a LOT of things dying the first time you come in contact with anything with a breath weapon or spell your companions don't exist.

Luckily those don't seem to become common until a decent ways into the dungeon. Good luck on your mage run!


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fischsemmel
post Jun 27 2020, 09:41 PM
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I should be golden then based on your experience! I plan to use only one character for companions at a time (except for like, when I eventually walk into stud rooms on 15), and use that character "in front" of my party so the companions help soak up melee damage so I don't need to heal my party as often when grinding throug monsters. Then if that guy runs out of crest charges or spell points, he falls back and someone else moves up front. I'll just be charming 4 of whatever I find that's decent as I explore, no stoning or spitting or breathing monsters that'll cause big friendly fire incidents.


I've been playing some more today, still just grinding away at guild crests. I still need to get 2 more mages, 2 more scavengers, and 3 more sorcerers ... but then I'll finally be done securing each crest I want for each party member and can start actually leveling up higher (probably with mage and scavenger at first). laugh.gif

This post has been edited by fischsemmel: Jun 27 2020, 09:43 PM
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fischsemmel
post Jun 29 2020, 01:54 PM
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Phew. Up to 50 hours played now and still need like 20 more levels of mage and 40*3 more levels of sorcerer to wrap up my pursuit of guild crests. No deaths since that fluke where I missed one of my guys with stoning resistance, no trouble with any quests. I actually don't recall any quests that should have been a pain yet, but even if I did get a nasty quest, I've been remembering to save random items like rods and stuff, and I have most of the rarer, charmable monsters I can find on these dungeon floors in the confinement already for when I do start getting quested for air elementals and morguls and daemons and whatever.

I've decided to take a bit of a detour though now that I do have some mage and sorcerer levels on everyone to spread out healing costs and leprosy/acidic sprays, though. I swapped all 4 guys to warrior, equipped my shiny guild crests, upgraded some equipment, and am going to level up to 91 warrior before I return to my casting guilds to finally finish the crests. Hopefully that trip won't take too long because I really am itching to get some more scavenger levels to improve my boxing, and to be able to start using my ultimate strategy of using a boatload of mage crest charges every dungeon trip.


One positive that's come from spending so much time running around on 5-7 so far is that I have TWO dominators! And I'll actually be able to use both of them in a few more levels. I think this will be the first time I've ever wielded a dominator. It seems like the other games when I've found one, I already was able to use an avenger anyway or I was playing that pure caster party so no one could use it at all or something. Yay!
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