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Default Let's play LMK … in Wiz8, et al.

January 20th, 2010, 04:30
TLC = tender loving care

Minor correction on the Poseur Cap. It is useable by any class that does not get the L&T skill, not just casters. The name is a taste of Wiz8 humor. Poseur…poser…way for non-thieves to be thieves…

Wiz8 doesn't really do multi-class. It's more like class switching. There are no dual class arrangements. Once you switch, skills that belong to your prior class but not your new class get frozen. So, for instance, if you have a bard with a 50 (out of 100) in her music and you switch to a ranger (that does not have the music skill), you will be stuck at 50 forever and ever, no matter how much you use the skill. There are a couple common class switches (mage to bishop, bard to ranger), but I don't do it. It's a personal choice, but by the time you've got enough development on a character to "survive" a switch, I'm too attached to them as they are.

Stats and skills max out at 100 (well, actually 125 for "class specialty" skills). When stats hit 100, each one opens up a new skill. All of those are available to all classes. Developing stats is a matter of choice, but the most popular approach is to race 2 stats to 100 and then dump points into other stats. For your classes, it's pretty easy. Ranger: dex and senses; mage: int and piety; fighter: str and vit (some would go speed or dex instead of vitality, but with a gimped party, you'll want to get iron skin—the bonus skill for maxing vitality—if you can).

Going with the party you're planning, you won't have any healing until your ranger gets alchemy at level 5. That could be tricky. Of course, picking up a bishop for healing instead makes for a more difficult development path (they can do more, but that means you have more development to prioritize).

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January 20th, 2010, 04:36
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
How does multi-classing work? Is it like dual-classing in BG? Would it be an option for the Lady to become a ranger/rogue if that's possible?
Multiclassing in W8 is sorta complicated and rarely beneficial.
Once you change profession you can´t advance its unique skills further and some can´t be used at all (scouting for example IIRC), some can (music). The biggest problem, however, is that if you, say, change from ranger to rogue at level 18, to advance rogue to level 2 you´ll need the amount of experience rogues need to advance from level 18 to level 19. In a party of 6 which usually ends the game around levels 20-24 this doesn´t bring much to table.
In smaller parties benefits are bigger but still only for certain combos which share some synergy (overlapping skillset), ckeric/lord, alchemist/ninja, etc.

Anyway, for the first playthrough I wouldn´t really much bother with it.
Bard class is a special case since its main benefit is instrument usage and that ability carries over to the second class. There´s also some synergy with the ranger class - when you´re not playing an instrument you can either practice ranged weapons, or sword skill (via nifty berserking sword) from which ranger would benefit later.

As for the ranger/rogue, probably not in your setup. By switching from rogue to ranger you loose rogue´s best trait which is backstabbing, and switching from ranger to rogue seems unnecessary. If you´ll start as a ranger, better stick with it for the alchemy spells.

Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
What do you mean, "maxed out"? Do stats and/or skills have max levels?
Yes.
Attributes max at 100 and upon reaching that you¨ll get a special skill - which means it´s usually a good idea to focus on 2-3 attributes until 100 so that you can train those specials. Skills max as well, though after certain point (75 IIRC) you´ll be able to raise them only via training, not via putting points in them.
Specialist classes max attributes/skills useful for them faster since there´s not that much to focus on, unlike in the case of hybrid classes.
Developing mage after level 21 is boring since there´s simply nothing left to develop. With a full party this is not a problem because by that time you´re finishing the game, but with the party of 3 you´re far from it and mage´s offensive spells just don´t cut it.
Hybrids just keep on giving longer and offer better versatility.

Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Speaking of which, how should I develop the attributes for each character (ranger/mage/fighter)?
ranger - dexterity, senses, speed
mage - intelligence, piety
fighter - strength, vitality, dexterity
Max these first.

edit: apparently dte has better developed snake speed
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January 20th, 2010, 04:49
Originally Posted by Dyspaire View Post
I bow to you, sir.

(Ever completed Wiz 7?)
It's a sickness. There are a few folks out there that make me look like a noob (there's a guy named wolfie who's my Wiz8 god), but I'm cocky enough to say it's a "small few".

Strangely enough, I've never played any of the older Wizardrys, much to my shame. I was actually pretty dedicated to TBS until I gave MM6 a try based on a glowing review in Computer Gaming World magazine. I've gone back for a few older RPGs over the years to round out my "sense of history", but somehow didn't pick up any Wizardrys. The class switching exploit in Wiz7 would be a serious turnoff for me, though.

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January 20th, 2010, 04:55
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
edit: apparently dte has better developed snake speed
The good news is that we pretty much agree. We'll call it independent verification.

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January 20th, 2010, 18:08
Thanks guys, guess I'll stay away from multi-classing then, seems to be too much of a hassle. There seems to be no major stats overlap, while all characters together cover almost all of the stats, which is just the way I like it. So I'll follow your advice and probably go this route:

Ranger: max dexterity and senses first, then start increasing speed and other stats
Mage: max intelligence and piety first, then start increasing speed and probably a bit of vitality. Some guides recommend speed over piety for all casters, what's up with that?
Figher: max strength and vitality first, then start increasing dexterity and speed …

Ranger keeps Alchemy high starting at level 5.
Mage beelines for Wizardry and Earth magic to get knock-knock, then I guess I'll distribute the points more evenly — or are there preferred schools that are more necessary than others?
Fighter can stick to swords, shields and close combat.

Should I put points into Communication, Artifacts and that monster identification skill? I was thinking that the mage could take Communication and Artifacts, the Lady that other skill, but I don't know if I have enough points for those. Does the Ranger need points in Daggers or so in case she can't use a bow? Or is that a non-issue? Should the mage have some staff skills or can he defend well enough without points in the talent?

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January 20th, 2010, 18:20
My party roles have the following concepts which might be grouped together in fewer characters:
Meat Wall: Incredibly high armor rating or hitpoints, taunting abilities etc.
Damage Dealer: Incredibly high melee or ranged damage.
Crowd Control: Debuffs, make opponents go slower, take damage over time or cripple them. Also includes area attacks, making damage on multiple foes simoultaneously.
Buffing: Buffs, make party tougher and better at everything. Including heals.
Utility: Specific use, such as picking locks, disabling traps etc.

In classic D&D a fighter can be a damage dealer or meat wall, a mage can be crowd control, priests buffs and rogues take utility.

If you have one less you could probably try to use other ways to bypass what the utility character is used for, or you might try to get a character that combine crowd control and buffs/heals, or use potions. Also a Paladin type of character is a meat wall and a buffer while they tend to be not so good at straight damage.

It's not uncommon that my fighter is more focused on absorbing damage than dealing it, and allow the wizard to deal the damage.

When Playing Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark my primary character was a Cleric, a class that is incredibly versatile of changing role by using different spells. They can substitute for most classes and fix whatever a party is missing.

Ranger is a concept I almost never use. In real RPG's they are useful for scouting and hunting, but in a cRPG ranged spells do more damage than arrows, and a rogue tend to be better at searching.

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January 20th, 2010, 18:50
Yeah, those are pretty good descriptions of full parties of 5 or 6 with extended but still relatively specialized roles. Five does seem ideal, actually. The LMK paradigm doesn't really include a dedicated healer (unlike Corwin's preferred group of four). I think the healing class as such was only made fashionable (read: mandatory) in MMOs, e.g. in WoW you get the 4 main groups tank, physical damage dealer, magical damage dealer and healer. But in single player games you usually didn't need one, as any healing could easily be done through potions. That's what I liked about Diablo, there were no healers, not even real tanks in the MMO sense of the word, only damage dealers with interesting differences. I like the Rock, Paper, Scissors principle, like in Team Fortress. Big and slow or weak and fast or something in between.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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January 20th, 2010, 19:01
I have always had a healer/buffer in my party, long before MMO's was invented… To me a such character is about substituting shortcomings. I found it even more important the fewer characters a group have. I have gone so far that I preferred a healer over a fighter in D&D since they make supreme tanks.

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January 20th, 2010, 20:17
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Mage: max intelligence and piety first, then start increasing speed and probably a bit of vitality. Some guides recommend speed over piety for all casters, what's up with that?
Casting first (initiative) can be useful since you can inflict those status effects before the critters get their attack. Piety will buy you spell points. Traditional parties will have multiple casters, so "mana" isn't really an issue. For your setup, "mana" will be an issue. Max the piety.
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Ranger keeps Alchemy high starting at level 5.
Mage beelines for Wizardry and Earth magic to get knock-knock, then I guess I'll distribute the points more evenly — or are there preferred schools that are more necessary than others?
Fighter can stick to swords, shields and close combat.
Sounds good. I like the water school for the freeze spells. Very useful status effect, available at low levels, and not too many critters have water resistance.
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Should I put points into Communication, Artifacts and that monster identification skill? I was thinking that the mage could take Communication and Artifacts, the Lady that other skill, but I don't know if I have enough points for those.
No, no and no. Those skills will go up just fine on their own thru use.
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Does the Ranger need points in Daggers or so in case she can't use a bow? Or is that a non-issue?
There's no "close combat" penalty with a bow. Until you get to mid-game, shoot arrows.
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Should the mage have some staff skills or can he defend well enough without points in the talent?
I put 1 point in staff and 1 point in close combat at creation. Eventually, you'll have to melee and doing anything with a 0 skill isn't pretty. After that, usage boosts will be enough until mid-game.

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January 20th, 2010, 21:19
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Mage beelines for Wizardry and Earth magic to get knock-knock, then I guess I'll distribute the points more evenly — or are there preferred schools that are more necessary than others?
Yeah, earth realm seems like the best school for starters. Be sure to take Web as soon as possible - this spell will be quite indispensable in the beginning parts. Element Shield will be a must against spellcasters and Armormelt will rule later because its effects stack.
Agreed with dte on water realm.
Don´t neglect air school since Noxious Fumes and Missile Shield will be nice to have before your ranger will become good at alchemy.
At last, you probably want to run Enchanted Blade from divinity school all the time once you get that and Summon Elemental should provide welcome additional meat shield.
Fire realm is somewhat unintuitively the least useful realm overall and mage mental realm spell selection is nothing to call home about either.
You certainly should spread points into those 4 realms to have longer lasting arsenal.

As for the alchemy, take Chameleon (for better maneuvering and training the earth realm) and healing as soon as possible.
Definitely focus on the air realm the most - it´s the best alchemist realm - Purify Air will be probably crucial for your setup in some battles and Toxic Cloud is the best disabling spell in the game.

However, not having certain priest spells will be a pain, that´s for sure.
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January 20th, 2010, 21:33
The reveal map(?) spell is also really useful for avoiding killer ambushes and constant combat.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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January 21st, 2010, 01:21
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
The reveal map(?) spell is also really useful for avoiding killer ambushes and constant combat.
X-ray is the spell name.

Not having magic screen will be the biggest liability, me thinks.

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January 21st, 2010, 09:11
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Not having magic screen will be the biggest liability, me thinks.

I remember Magic Screen and Soul Shield(?) being vital.
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January 21st, 2010, 21:53
Thanks to all the advice I was off to a good start. These are my heroes:

Lilyana Featherwind, female, Elf, Ranger, cunning voice.
Mistral Thalion, male, Human, Mage, intelligent voice.
Kyle Skye, male, Human, Fighter, kindly voice.

Yeah, not terribly creative but easy to remember.

I have now reached the Upper Monastery and my party is around level 6. They need to rest more often. Sometimes I think going into the next fight with only half hit points and mana points is enough, only to be surprised by an overwhelming army of terrible beasts. But when I'm careful and prepared it's not too bad. I'm playing on normal.

Mistral can so far cast sleep, web, terror, light, some water attack spell, knock knock and enchanted weapons or something along those lines. You only get one spell each level up but there are so many — will I be able to get them all via books eventually?

Regarding Alchemy
I was surprised about Alchemy, for some reason I thought it was more like a skill that lets you brew potions, but it seems to come with an entire set of spells, some of which are shared with the mage. But how do I make potions? It seems I also need to invest at least a minimum amount of points in some realms with my ranger, otherwise she can't even cast a level 1 spell (red circle). What should I increase each level? I have only 9 points for Bows, Ranged Combat, Scouting, Alchemy and 6 different realms … I put some in Alchemy and the Divinity realm now to be able to cast the healing spell, the rest in ranged combat (since it's my class skill), but I'm not sure about how to proceed.

Regarding Identifying
Apparently I can't get the identify spell in my setup (wizardry book and alchemy book). This probably means I have to rely on the Artifacts skill. My inventory is filled with ? items I can't identify, my mage's Artifacts skill is only at 11 and rising rather slowly (I put 3 points in it earlier to make up for it). What should I do? The skill is based on Intelligence and Senses, which is a bit of a pity because those two are divided between my mage and ranger.

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January 21st, 2010, 22:59
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Mistral can so far cast sleep, web, terror, light, some water attack spell, knock knock and enchanted weapons or something along those lines. You only get one spell each level up but there are so many — will I be able to get them all via books eventually?
Shop inventories are somewhat random, but all spells thru level 5 can show up in books (and most do). You don't have to take spells at level-up. You can "bank" those choices. That can come in handy if you're jst short of the requirements.
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Regarding Alchemy
I was surprised about Alchemy, for some reason I thought it was more like a skill that lets you brew potions, but it seems to come with an entire set of spells, some of which are shared with the mage. But how do I make potions? It seems I also need to invest at least a minimum amount of points in some realms with my ranger, otherwise she can't even cast a level 1 spell (red circle). What should I increase each level? I have only 9 points for Bows, Ranged Combat, Scouting, Alchemy and 6 different realms … I put some in Alchemy and the Divinity realm now to be able to cast the healing spell, the rest in ranged combat (since it's my class skill), but I'm not sure about how to proceed.
You can't "create" potions and powders. You can mix ones you have to create better ones. You mixing ability is based on your alchemy skill. With a 15 alchy skill, you can combine 2 light healing potions into 1 medium healing potion. The moneymaker hits at 50 skill: heavy healing + cure disease. You're going to need to do a lot of casting to prop up those skills. Point distribution is a personal choice, but for a ranger I go 3 points in bow, 3 in scouting, and 3 in alchy until I get to 15. Ranged has to come up on its own until later. A successful potion mix can boost your skill, so plan on visiting a shop, buying every light heal they've got (often approaching 100), and mixing into mediums. You'll get a skill boost and make about 80gp (IIRC) on each medium you create. Spell practice (casting for the sake of casting, particularly out of combat) and potion manufacturing isn't usually all that necessary, but with your gimped party, you'll probably have to do some.
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Regarding Identifying
Apparently I can't get the identify spell in my setup (wizardry book and alchemy book). This probably means I have to rely on the Artifacts skill. My inventory is filled with ? items I can't identify, my mage's Artifacts skill is only at 11 and rising rather slowly (I put 3 points in it earlier to make up for it). What should I do? The skill is based on Intelligence and Senses, which is a bit of a pity because those two are divided between my mage and ranger.
While the game makes a big deal about the influence of stats on using skills, I haven't seen that much difference. The stats influence many things, but skills don't appear to be a major player. I remember wolfie doing all sorts of trials and calculations years ago and determining that the impact was minimal. Usage is still the best way to get a skill bump. With most skills, impact shows up in 15's. So for many skills you want to drive for 15, or 30, or 45, and so on. You're going to have a raft of stuff you can't ditch (selling unidentified items is a painful waste of money) for now. Keep trying to ID them and eventually you'll train up.

edit- not sure what I was thinking on the alchemy—DeepO is correct that the first mix is light heal + moderate heal = heavy heal.

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Last edited by dteowner; January 22nd, 2010 at 01:57. Reason: stoopid stoopid stoopid
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January 21st, 2010, 23:24
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
You only get one spell each level up but there are so many — will I be able to get them all via books eventually?
There aren´t books for all spells, but IIRC for most of the low-medium ones there are.

Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Regarding Alchemy
You make new potions by merging two. Like merging light heal potion with mod heal potion results in heavy heal, etc. Just experiment.
Regarding the skillpoint distribution, I´d go with something like: ranged combat +2, bow+1, scouting+2(until it´s 20 or so - then it will go up easy by itself and you can start putting those 2 somewhere else),alchemy+2, air+1 (to prepare it for the very useful later spells), earth+1 (until you get chameleon, then go with water+1). Healing should do the trick with upping divinity.

Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Regarding Identifying
Yep, that´s one of the priest spells that sucks not to have, at least in earlier portions of the game. It goes up just by taking items but not fast enough, I say start putting +2 there with your mage for a while. The realms can be practiced in combat so rather put points in those you´re not using much for the time being. Always put +3 to wizardry.

Take this all with a grain of sand though - I haven´t played vanilla wizardry for a long, long time.

edit:
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January 22nd, 2010, 20:13
Again, much obliged.

Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
(..) isn't usually all that necessary, but with your gimped party, you'll probably have to do some.
Heh, I love that, sounds like a motto I should take to heart. It makes me feel so wimpy. With *grand* things still ahead of me!

I'm wondering how long I can keep playing on normal. I was under the impression that faster leveling should make up for the lack of party members, which apparently isn't true. Since monsters are happily scaling along the game is probably harder than it should be, even considering the reduced party size. More often than not I'm hearing a "Uh.. I think I want to go home …" from the Lady. Not that the other two are any different.

Do I have to keep "Search" mode on or does my Ranger search automatically? Or what is the button for exactly? I don't really notice a difference, other than it getting disabled temporarily when the group is running.

I attached two screenshots. The first is right at the beginning after the party has been washed ashore. I'm not too happy about the character portraits, there weren't really any available that fit the image of them in my mind. The second picture shows them engaging four nasty critters. I hate ranged enemies. Terror proved to be invaluable against these foes. Shortly thereafter the monastery was "cleared". They sold all unnecessary items to the traveling merchant, bought up all arrows and all weak health potions for later mixing and headed for the road. All three are level 7 now.

Can I re-arrange the portraits, by the way? I'd rather have them all on the left side.

A more pressing matter: Where to next? Arnika obviously, but I've also heard tales of a wondrous fountain in Trynton … my mage is at 90 Intelligence now, I hear that it may be prudent to not go further than 95, which is only two more levels, before visiting the fountain. What would you do?
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg Wiz800001.jpg (123.7 KB, 40 views)

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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January 22nd, 2010, 23:18
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Heh, I love that, sounds like a motto I should take to heart. It makes me feel so wimpy. With *grand* things still ahead of me!
Actually, knowingly playing a party with skill holes is not wimpy at all. That makes for a challenge, which is territory visited only by Real Gamers (tm).
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
I'm wondering how long I can keep playing on normal. I was under the impression that faster leveling should make up for the lack of party members, which apparently isn't true. Since monsters are happily scaling along the game is probably harder than it should be, even considering the reduced party size. More often than not I'm hearing a "Uh.. I think I want to go home …" from the Lady. Not that the other two are any different.
The auto-leveller is a point of contention for many gamers. It's a little different from the much-hated Oblivion scaling in that each map has a range of critter levels based on the average party level when you enter. Where things get interesting is that you can occasionally "wrap the table" when running small parties. That can make for some very boring or very difficult maps. It's rare, but it could happen. I happen to like the autoleveller since you'll be revisiting maps a lot and it would get boring taking a level 20 party against 6 rats.

Terrain is critical in Wiz8, regardless of your party. You've got to work in "funnels", corners you can back into where the critters can only come at you 1 or 2 at a time while the others politely line up in perfect position for area effect crowd control spells while they wait for their turn to die.

Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Do I have to keep "Search" mode on or does my Ranger search automatically? Or what is the button for exactly? I don't really notice a difference, other than it getting disabled temporarily when the group is running.
Your ranger has autosearch, so you will never use that button. For parties without a ranger, you won't find hidden goodies unless the button is on, and that means you can't be running. Plus, you're more likely to get surprise attacked when you're in search mode via the button. It's been a long, long time since I've run a party without a ranger simply because autosearch is so valuable.

Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
I attached two screenshots. The first is right at the beginning after the party has been washed ashore. I'm not too happy about the character portraits, there weren't really any available that fit the image of them in my mind. The second picture shows them engaging four nasty critters. I hate ranged enemies. Terror proved to be invaluable against these foes. Shortly thereafter the monastery was "cleared". They sold all unnecessary items to the traveling merchant, bought up all arrows and all weak health potions for later mixing and headed for the road. All three are level 7 now.
It's actually moderate heal potions that are the hardest to stockpile. You should make sure that each character has 5 healing potions of some sort in their inventory at all times until about level 20.
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Can I re-arrange the portraits, by the way? I'd rather have them all on the left side.
No can do. The slots are filled in the order you add the characters to your party at creation. Once you start playing, you're stuck.
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
A more pressing matter: Where to next? Arnika obviously, but I've also heard tales of a wondrous fountain in Trynton … my mage is at 90 Intelligence now, I hear that it may be prudent to not go further than 95, which is only two more levels, before visiting the fountain. What would you do?
I wouldn't worry about that fountain. I suppose you could bank on the "reward", but it's not something worth waiting for, IMO. As for where to go, you've got lots of choices. Most of the time, I go: monestary, Arnika, monestary, Mt. Gigas, Trynton, Martin's Bluff and then….

edit- Oh, by the way, the Arnika Road map is difficult. Don't be surprised if you struggle. The designers planned for you to exit the monestary at level 4 and wanted you at level 7 when you got to Arnika (your levels will obviously be different). That entails a lot of XP, and the only way to get all those XP is to fight tough critters. It's a bit of a gauntlet, so play accordingly and watch the map closely for funnels you can use.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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January 23rd, 2010, 00:20
Yeah … I'm mentally preparing for a battle against 8 or 9 level 7-9 highwaymen thief types. Having fought 5 of them just a minute (and 8 hours) ago I know it's possible in my tight little corner, but I still I was thinking: "Are you kidding me?!"

That's usually when I have to take a break. Even so, I do like how oldschool everything is (thanks for the maps 'n stuff by the way!). Combat encounters and the way enemies walk around reminds me very much of Ambermoon for some reason. Good times.

Ok, going to ignore the fountain and keep increasing stats normally. Don't have any medium potions left for now. Identifying is going better, every time Artifacts increases by one or two points I can identify something new.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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January 23rd, 2010, 00:39
Lots of great info Dteowner!
Wish I had all that advice when I first played Wiz 8

I actually got very far, near to the end but never finished. My HD crashed and I've since started several times over but stop playing for whatever reason or other.

No matter, it's the rare game that every time I start a new game, it's still a joy to play. When I plow through my backlog, I'm going to start over and play until I finish it.

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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Let's play LMK … in Wiz8, et al.
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