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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Beyond Divinity Unofficial Elite Hardcore Strategy Guide - Act 4

Click here for a list of our Beyond Divinity Elite Hardcore Strategy Guide posts.

We recommend you buy Beyond Divinity from Good Old Games (GOG) as you can get more prompt support. Also, it is an older game, and GOG offers a risk-free money-back guarantee.

Act 4

Character Development
  • We brought our Agility to base 100 and then banked stat points to see how far we could get with the characters as fights had become very easy--If the Hero and the Deathknight double-teamed enemies, most fell after a total of 2-3 hits.
  • Levelling slows down a lot, so enemy level ranges and difficulty also plateaus. The endgame bosses are really hard to hit with weapons, so a very high Agility is still needed. Skip to the end to see how we did with the final boss. If you are worried, hoard potions -- maybe 100+ of Heath and Mana, and whatever Restoration you can get.
Even if you do not optimally abuse Pickpocketing, it is likely you have in excess of 1,000,000 gold in addition to other items you can trade. Start buying Extra Large Crystals or you won't have a good set by the end of the main game.

Summoning Level - Third Summoning Test (Guide page 228)

Our characters were level 29 and Samuel was level 38. Hard to hit, but we defeated him instead of simply luring him out of the summoning circle. XP is the same either way, so don't bother -- Luring him out of the summoning circle of candles also instantly kills him and you are awarded the same XP for killing him and for the quest/event.
Below are pictures of our stats before engaging Samuel, and a shot of Samuel almost defeated. We had one character (the Deathknight) constantly healing and both characters attacking in melee--no potions, fancy tactics, or spells were used.

Act 4 - stats before defeating Samuel
Act 4 - Samuel almost defeated

Experience Level - Trader and the Amulet (Guide page 233)

Prior to returning the amulet to the Trader, save your game. Make a separate savegame afterwards, then reload your game when NOT in the Battlefields to see if the game crashes trying to load the savegame. If it does, you may have to skip completing this quest as it will affect all savegames afterwards, except possibly when you are loading a game in the Battlefields.

Experience Level - Consequences (Guide page 239)

A lot of enemies who can suddenly swarm you. Having a strong area effect magic spell like Hammer is very useful here.
Also, before starting the test, the gates around the starting chamber are locked, so don't start the test first. Instead, go to the edges of the room and drop area effect spells into the fog of war to kill what you can first.

Act 4 - Consequences - cast spells into fog of war

Experience Level - Concentration (Guide page 237)

There is actually no time constraint as Samuel's progress is scripted to coincide with that of the Hero and Deathknight. Also, he does not go for the Rift but instead hangs around indefinitely to try to kill the heroes.
As before, watch for enemy clumps on your radar/mini-map and drop area effect spells on them. Such as at door (map location 21), before opening the door.

If you don't want to kill Samuel (and he is much harder here, constantly casting spells) you can lead him away and Sneak behind him to get at the containers in the corridor he blocks, if there is anything in them. If you want to take him on, accuracy will be important or you won't be able to land enough hits on him. Same tactics as before: Melee and occasionally heal; no potions or offensive spells, although Hammer will stun him. Because the chance of hitting is very low, don't waste your arrows. Run away from Insect Swarm and Earthquake spells.
In the pre- and post- battle screenshots below you can see that we ended up with NO XP for killing him, so don't bother. However, shortly after you will have to fight Samuel for keeps, so you might as well test your strategies and builds now in case you need to buff in the Battlefields prior to the endgame.

Act 4 - Concentration - stats before attacking Samuel
Act 4 - Concentration - Samuel almost defeated
Act 4 - Concentration - Samuel defeated, no xp

Damian (Guide page 248)

Prior to going through the rift to Rivellon, strip the Death Knight of gear. This will NOT help you against Damian, so it is not an exploit -- the Death Knight is rendered invisible and Damian's model takes his place. The Death Knight is still there and you will see gear dropped on the field if you are killed by Damian. What getting your gear from the Death Knight does is let you keep it after the main game because you enter the post-main-game Battlefields WITHOUT the Death Knight.

When you first encounter Damian, run. He hits hard in melee and your ability to hit him is probably lousy. When he first pauses to swing, use that to get distance. Use Hammer to stun him, then run some more and Sneak. 2 levels of Sneaks is OK, but 3 levels is the minimum to comfortably and easily get out of his detection range, even without leaving Sneaking mode. Move until he is in the fog of war, then get set up.
Get your cache out (from your Summoning Doll) and gear up, then cache again and unsummon your doll. Do NOT leave anything behind.

For Damian, if you have followed our Character Build, you will have 100+ Agility. Max this. We had base 110 and [Warrior > Ranged Specialties > Bow > Accuracy 5] and still had a very hard time hitting him. We added +30 with just 1 level of [Warrior > Warrior Talents > Berserk] and had pretty much a 100% hit rate. To short cut things, we pulled out the Power Arrows we'd been hoarding.

Berserk has a cooldown time during which your stats are severely reduced and you probably can't Run because you are suddenly encumbered from lowered Strength. So during that time you need to stay in hiding and reposition to start up another arrow volley.
We killed Damian with two casts of Berserk but if your bow is weak and/or you want to save your special arrows (for what? -- this is the endgame), it'll take longer but you shouldn't need any potions.

The pictures below show before-Berserk and after-Berserk stats of our Hero during the fight against Damian. Without any Battlefield kills we were level 31 going into the endgame, and Damian was level 38, same as Samuel.

Act 4 - fighting Damian - before Berserk level 1
Act 4 - fighting Damian - after Berserk level 1

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Beyond Divinity Unofficial Elite Hardcore Strategy Guide - Act 3

Click here for a list of our Beyond Divinity Elite Hardcore Strategy Guide posts.

We recommend you buy Beyond Divinity from Good Old Games (GOG) as you can get more prompt support. Also, it is an older game, and GOG offers a risk-free money-back guarantee.

Act 3
Levelling: We used Polymorph against the Blood Knights and occasionally elsewhere, but we did not use it all the time to get XP out of very low-level opponents. If you diligently use it, you can end up with a much higher level, even without exploiting the Battlefields.
Character Development
  • If you haven't already, get your Agility to 65+. For the Hero developing Strength to use some armour, it is even more important to get Agility higher, as high as 81+ to use some of the enchanted spears that show up with a base Required Agility of 56+ and can have base damage in the 200+ range after Sharpening, and pushing 300 after factoring in Agility.
  • Hammer is a good spell to have if you need immediate respite to cast a healing spell, so make sure you have enough Mana to do that plus a Healing spell once or twice.
  • Melee will still get you through most of your encounters, but in addition to boosts from equipment, you should have enough points to spread around more than just Agility. However, I recommend still focussing on Agility and Intelligence, and for the Hero, Strength as well.
  • If you have Skill Points to spare, develop some Warrior Skills with Piercing Weapons. One-Handed Piercing with Shield is recommended, as two-handed weapons means you lose out on enchantments on a Shield. At this time, just 1 level with Accuracy, Damage, Critical Hits, and Deathblow is fine as there are significantly reduced returns on your skill point investment.

Blood Knights
The easiest way to kill these tough opponents is with the Polymorph spell. Pretty much whatever you transform them into -- even a Level 29 Shadow Creature -- will be easier to kill and may give you much more XP. If you transform them into something weak, like a Level 1 Rat, you will get no XP for the kill.

Crystal Gargoyles
Not too hard to kill, but their Spikes spell when they are weak can be annoying. Don't bunch up you characters -- have them on opposites sides of the Gargoyle, and the Spikes spell should hit only one character at a time.

Rapid Shot - Marksman's Friend (Guide page 150)
If you are not hardy enough to survive the trap on the container housing this item, use our grab-and-go strategy for Flamestinger in Act 2 as the same trap is there.

Brother Raze and the Holy Relic (Guide page 151)
If you have already found the Holy Relic prior to speaking with him, you need to drop it then pick it up again for him to recognize that you have it. Do this after accepting his quest.

Serrick's Tower and Teleporter (Guide page 177)
The density of enemies here can be very high, so Sneak around. If you are swarmed by the elementals, especially the Earth Elementals and their Earthquake attacks, just run until you are teleported away.
Probably the easiest way to handle this area is to first fix the teleporter. You only need to talk to the Earth Elemental King to get the required component. Then run to the teleporter nearby and fix it, then use the teleporter to get away from the mess and come back later.

Salt Mine (Guide page 188)
Once the miners become hostile, you must kill them. When you have killed all of them, a cutscene takes over and you end up leaving the location. Therefore, kill one at a time and pause the game to collect their extensive loot (because they are all merchants) before killing another one. You will miss loot from one of them, so before picking up the crystal, look at their inventories (or better, clean out their merchant inventories with the Pickpocket skill -- see our Character Generation guide on the best way to do this) to decide whose loot to leave behind.

Catacombs (Guide page 181+)

Level 2 - "Never hit an unarmed creature"

We found that if a Shadow Creature killed one of the unarmed persons, you will both fail and succeed the Goddess's test, and you will not be able to save your game -- it will crash at the 2/3rds point when saving.
To keep the unarmed persons alive if you can't kill the Shadow Creatures fast enough: (see pictures below)
  • Stay near the door but do not pass through. Use spells like Hammer to kill as many Shadow Creatures as possible.
    • Until you go through the doorway, the soldiers are all green/neutral and will not be harmed by your spells.
    • The soldiers and Shadow Creatures on the west side of the room are too far to yet be activated and will not yet be fighting.
  • Once the Shadow Creatures are dead, go back up the stairs and save your game progress before coming back down to continue.
  • Rush over to the west side and kill all the Shadow Creatures in the room (but not the side rooms) as quickly as possible.
  • Kill the armed soldiers. When the room is clear of all Shadow Creatures and armed Soldiers, you will receive a message "You understood the lesson."
Act 3 Catacombs level 2, part 1 - stay behind doorway
Act 3 Catacombs level 2, part 2 - kill shadow creatures
Level 4 - Treasure Chests

You can exploit pausing the game to get all four treasures by positioning the Hero and Deathknight so that they can pick up all four keys while the game is paused. However, the treasure isn't really worthwhile to exploit in this way.

Level 5 - Black Bishop

If you are having trouble with his Paralysis Cloud, move your characters apart first so that only one of them will be in the cloud initially.

Catacombs Wisdom Level (Guide page 184)

When you click on the Godly Symbols on the walls, you can briefly look behind walls and thereby locate enemies accurately for spells.

Act 3 Catacombs Wisdom Level - touching symbol lets you see behind walls

Level 5 - Raanaar Summoning Doll

Once you have all 3 Symbols, strip the Raanaar Summoning Doll of all gear or it will be lost when the Doll is removed from you.
Although the door to the Crystal Fragment is open, do not go there or the wrong dialogue will trigger. It appears harmless, but glitches can have uncertain effects.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Company of Heroes Walkthrough - Operation Market Garden - Mission 2 - Wolfheze: September Snow

Company of Heroes Walkthrough - Operation Market Garden - Mission 2 - Wolfheze: September Snow

Click here for the index of our Company of Heroes Mission Walkthrough Index and our gameplay paradigm.

This is a moderately easy mission on Expert Difficulty, depending on how many troop losses you are willing to sustain.
Also, if you ended Mission 1 - Wolfheze with more than 50 points of unit Population, you may be initially limited in what you can field (artillery pieces are mostly transferred to (yellow) allied forces).
In the following pictures, we show the units we ended Mission 1 with, and the troops we began Mission 2 with. Since we started with 54 population and the cap was 50, and our gameplay paradigm did not allow for recycling units just to make new ones of the types we wanted, we had to play with the units we began with. We did end up saving all units (no losses), although in the process we had to experiment with various tactics against the Tetrach Tanks.

Campaign 2 Mission 1 - final troops
Campaign 2 Mission 1 - mission 2 starting troops

Part 1 - Rescue the AA Gun
Send in your vehicles to protect the AA gun nearby. There are two snipers, making it tricky to send in infantry. If you fail to protect the crew, you'll have to man it, but it's really only useful in the final defense phase of the mission.

Part 2 - Find Snipers
Move up the left side and take point with vehicles. Unlike American vehicles, the lightly armoured vehicles look like they should be immune to infantry fire, but they aren't, so retreat them to be repaired. For now, keep sending them ahead to find and kill snipers until you receive the medal.

Part 3 - Anti-Tank Enemies
Anti-Tank guns and some medium tanks are further ahead in the map. On Expert difficulty they can one-shot your vehicles. If you see any, immediately retreat and mortar their position or send in infantry.
Against Tetrarch Tanks, your best bet for minimizing losses is actually to swarm them with Infantry. We chose Defensive veterancy upgrades for infantry and almost all squads have a Panzerschrek (from Mission 1). Try not to engage more than one at a time. They will also quickly flee, so that can help as well.

Part 4 - Paradrop
After taking the final strategic point, there is another paradrop. Retreat all units to the artillery line and just hold out until enemy infantry and jeeps stop coming. You don't have to hold any strategic points and the enemy does not try to capture any.
You can destroy some of the initial drops of infantry, but it is better to simply pull back and present an organized defensive line backed by powerful artillery.