Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How to play Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

How to Play Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

A quickie guide on getting the best start to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Once you've tried it a bit, use this guide to jumpstart your game without ruining it with excessive cheating.

Start on the map at level 11
  • Early game is generally very easy especially if you play a mage. Skip the grind and be close to the level caps for the nearby maps: eastern Odarath and Webwood is 12, Ettinmere, Glendara, and Haxhi are 13. This way you aren't locking areas at a lower level than they could be, and doing so without too much grinding.
  • Also, you can run to a Fateweaver early if you need to, and do so without level-locking maps at too low a level.
  • During the start / tutorial phase, you will come across two rats. Kill one and use Cheat Engine to look for the 12 XP you just got. Kill the other and use Cheat Engine to find the XP address, and set the value to 44600.
  • Each time you kill something you will level up toward level 10. You can only get one level per kill, but having set your XP to 44600 you will have enough to reach level 10.
  • You might not want to spend your skill points yet -- it's not really important here as the tutorial is so easy anyway.
  • When you exit the tutorial, you will be level 10. When you walk a short distance from where you exit, a script will level you up to the next level (11).
Start as a Mage
  • Easy to get through early generally easy areas until you get enough Ability Points to play more fun Abilities on the Might and Finesse trees if you like.
  • Also play a Mage if you like one-shot-kill sniping even on Hard difficulty.
  • Great for stealth play because Sorcery abilities like Mark of Flame and Tempest let you attack enemies from behind barriers, minimizing exposure.
Points into the Magic Tree in this order (assuming you re-spec at a Fateweaver) at a minimum:
  • Storm Bolt 5
    • Mostly you will use this to snipe. At range, start sneaking. When you can see the eye symbol over an enemy, they are in range. Hit them with this to get sneak attack bonus damage.
    • Later we will get Stealth to further increase the bonus. Around level 13-15 we'll start losing the ability to one-shot enemies with this but we'll improve it again with Stealth.
    • Hit enemies that are alone first. Those that are clumped could be hit (and alerted) by the area shock or stun. If an enemy is one-shotted, even if they are in the sight cone of another enemy, no one is alerted to your attack.
  • Mark of Flame 1
    • This will be your main attack power when enemies are close and you can't or aren't sneaking up on them.
    • You can Mark and Execute from behind cover -- even if you can't see the opponent, as long as you've Marked them with the cone attack, which can go through barriers.
    • To group enemies, run around a corner and let them bunch up. If you crouch, sometimes breaking the line of sight that way will cause them to give up searching for you and turn around, meaning you can sneak attack them with Storm Bolt again.
  • Conservative Casting 1
  • Mark of Flame 5, Conservative Casting 5
  • Storm Bolt 6
  • Sphere of Protection 4
    • Useful later but for now just to pad points to unlock higher Ability tiers.
  • Chain Lightning 5
  • Healing Surge 1
    • More than enough since you are likely not even using Health Potions.
  • Sphere of Protection 6
  • Summon Faer Gorta 6
    • Useful later but for now just to pad points to unlock higher Ability tiers.
  • Ice Barrage 1
    • You could improve this but honestly it's not the best attack and you already have two elemental attacks so you can probably do without having to fully improve a third.
    • At close range, Mark of Flame is better for being able to hit multiple targets cheaply. At long range, Storm Bolt is better for sniping. At medium to long range, the random spread means you are unlikely to many, if any, ice bolts to hit anything. One point here to unlock Frost Shackle later, which may be useful if you decide you want Elemental Rage or Winter's Embrace.
  • Smoulder 5
  • Finesse Tree - Stealth 6
  • Finesse Tree - Frost Trap 1 - optional
    • Good for the stagger and slowing and even at 1 rank you can drop 4 traps. Not really looking to kill anything here but to set up zones where you can get some breathing room if you are running to put distance between you and the enemy, such as at chokepoints where they come around a corner. Usage can be quite rare except on game reloads when you know monsters are going to surprise-spawn on you and you had a hard time dealing with them.
    • The Stun upgrade may require too much investment to be worth it compared to the gains in further investing in Sorcery.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Fallout 4 - Killing Slag in Out of the Fire

The final stage of Fallout 4's Out of the Fire can be very hard on Very Hard Difficulty. Here is the best sequence that worked for me, assuming you talk Jake into wanting to leave the Forged and he is thereby your ally. The key is that Jake is basically not killable at that point.
  1. When Slag is counting down from 3, position yourself close to the Forged with the baseball bat and shotgun him in the face to kill him. Since you start right next to him your chances of hitting should be 95% with VATS.
  2. The Forged with the flamer will likely be coming for you. Rush them and get up close. That will cause them to try to bash you with their flamer instead of torching you with hit. Kill them quickly and do NOT pick up the flamer -- let Jake do that as it'll be the best option (his default is a 10mm pistol).
  3. If you can kill the flamer Forged quickly enough, Slag and the last Forged may still be dealing with Jake. Focus on taking cover from Slag and killing the last Forged, although Jake will likely do that for you.
  4. From now on, because of the tight quarters and the heavy hits from Slag, just get somewhat close and keep in cover so Slag can't hit you. Whenever Jake gets up to flame Slag, he will turn to attack Jake. At that point, pop out and shoot Slag. Keep repeating this until Slag is dead.
Lots of food helps but trying to outgun even just Slag will be hard unless you have later-game great gear. I did this on a stealth build (with Shadowed Lighter armor pieces) and an automatic pistol against Slag.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fallout 4 - The Silver Shroud - How to Save Kent from Sinjin and alternate ending

The final stage of Fallout 4's The Silver Shroud quest is one of the trickiest to handle with very alternate ways to resolve it.

Basically, if you want to do it the way the quest was scripted to play out, you need to succeed in the Speech challenge goading Sinjin to kill you in front of Kent. That turns off the script that has Sinjin and Avery kill Kent as soon as something goes wrong.

You know the quest is meant to play out this way because they even have a standby (Avery) to kill Kent even if you kill Sinjin before anything happens. And there is no chance of Kent surviving the shots because they have the bad guys shoot him repeatedly (one shot will do, apparently). In fact, while you're pulling out your gun or clicking hit locations in VATS, Kent can get shot to death.

They really, really, want the only true way to get Kent out alive to be the Speech Challenge. Some sites and vids show you ways to basically exploit mechanics to get around it. Instead of stressing out over it using various tricks, I recommend one of two things:
Once you succeed in getting them to kill you first, the best course of action is probably to run back into the elevator especially since Sinjin likes to throw grenades. Kent is out of trouble and you can wait till the enemies stop hunting you and reset their positions.

If you have very good Stealth skills (get a Stealth Boy if you need it), you can snipe them from the elevator -- and even do so to the no-name Raiders prior to talking to Sinjin. As long as you are never detected by Sinjin or Avery, Kent is safe.
If you attack and/or kill either Sinjin or Avery, whoever is left alive will immediately kill Kent.

In the video below, you can see I sniped one Raider and snipe the other one afterwards. Since I am not detected, Sinjin and Avery stay waiting for dialogue.

If you don't care about Kent, you can get an alternative ending dialogue with Sinjin. If you succeed in turning them against Sinjin, they still attack you after Sinjin is dead, so failing the Speech challenge is actually better as it leaves you to fight Sinjin alone first.