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Games => Telepath Tactics => Topic started by: Chocobo_Fan on August 07, 2015, 02:48:38 PM

Title: Strider-only run
Post by: Chocobo_Fan on August 07, 2015, 02:48:38 PM
I've been thinking of trying a minimalist run where I kill off all non-essential party members and try to make it through the game with just the Strider sisters. Given the permadeath mechanic, it's something that could theoretically happen to a very incautious player, so I'd like to see just how viable it is. It'd also be interesting to see how the story is affected (though I imagine it would just make things a lot more boring :p).

I just did a test run myself, but I forgot that the town defense battle ended after a few rounds, so I was left with severely underleveled Striders for the caravan battle, and couldn't win. The only plan I can think of is to abuse the crap out of Pull and grind until my eyes fall out in the first battle against the two bandits. Has anyone tried this before? Any tips?
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Thaecrasis on August 07, 2015, 06:50:00 PM
Well, personally I don't think this plan will work, even if you over level both of them to the maximum potential every mission. The reason being is that each mission after the first couple was designed for strategy using an entire party to be able to take out.

However, not assuming it is impossible, the only way this could potentially work, would be first leveling them as much as possible, not just for the extra health/resistance/damage, but mainly for the extra skills gained in early-game. Getting the 'Motivate' and 'Place Iron Jaw Trap' skills as soon as possible would be a must for this to work.

-Against hoards of enemies, the strategy would have to be very item-heavy, using a lot of focus pills for energy, since you won't have the time and units to gather enough energy to prepare properly; you'd have to set up a snare and iron jaw trap each turn (both traps can be set in one turn without motivate, making choke points a feasible strategy with Sabrina.

-With essential upkeep for only two units, you'll have a lot more money to spend on tons of bandages and focus pills (you'll need every last one of them) and the best armour and weapons.

-Ranged and Psy units will be the bane of the Strider sisters, since they don't have any ranged attacks. The only way to deal with them effectively would be to set up a trapped choke-point, and move out of line of sight, or to another choke-point (and then use Emma's Motivate to set another 2 traps), and when the ranged units come around the corner to target you, they'll be stunned. [Keep in mind, ranged units will only move through your traps if they have the possibility of moving within attacking distance that turn]. In maps without many line-of-sight blocks though, will be a real challenge. I highly recommend saving 100 gold for the Psi guardian mission where they ask you for 100 gold to pass through, so you don't have to fight them. With just Emma and Sabrina against 5 extremely powerful psy users and a golem; you will die.

In regular missions where there is not many line-of-sight blocks, there could potentially be no real way to win: you'd either have to use all the cover as best you can, or sprint and use Wine (for 20% damage reduction, but also an accuracy penalty), and deal with the ranged units in potentially one turn with Double Strike if you manage to have it by that particular mission. Surviving the next turn will be hit-or-miss though, since even with very high health and damage reduction, likely both Emma and Sabrina will be surrounded by 4 melee units each and get backstabbed 2-3 times each as they counter-attack and change their rotation each time. If they both manage to survive those kinds of onslaughts, then you can use your abundance of bandages to heal up and set choke-points for melee reinforcements (turning your back against a trap almost guarantees any melee unit will choose to head for that trap to backstab them, which is quite handy).

-On the plus side, without worrying about other characters, you won't have to go on the horrifying Rescue Meridian mission which is insanely difficult even with a full party, and also the mission for Phoeboe later on for golem parts (but you also won't get any extra loot/exp from them either)

-Trying to actually complete the campaign with just the two of them will probably involve dozens, if not hundreds, of mission restarts; there's just too many variables and overwhelming amounts of enemies to figure out the perfect strategy (if there even is one) for each mission, so if you do intend to try this, I wish you the best of luck xD

If you do try it though, let us know how it goes :P

Edit: Actually, apparently the sisters can use bows as well, so that changes things quite a bit

And I tried this strategy and managed to beat the caravan mission. I only used one ranged attack; the way I dealt with Siras Harrowbeak (or whatever his name was) was keeping him immobilized with either having his own troops in his way or keeping him stunned. With the last snare (once out of energy) I finally attacked him (without his counter attacks), and with my own counter attack and following attack, finished him off easily. For the first few turns, I simply rested to gain as much energy for Sabrina as possible. At the end of the fight, Emma was level 5, and Sabrina was lv 7.

Edit 2: Managed to beat the Gunther mission as well
Edit 3: Doesn't seem like it's possible to beat the first 'Defend the Tent' mission though. There's too many enemies from all sides; while it's possible to kill quite a few enemies first, there's almost no way to prevent the tent from being destroyed it seems though.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Chocobo_Fan on August 10, 2015, 05:28:05 PM
Quote
Actually, apparently the sisters can use bows as well, so that changes things quite a bit

!!! They can? That does indeed change things! And Gavrielle conveniently gives you a freebie, too!

I started again and got the sisters up to level 14 in the first battle, and experienced the same results as you: Gunther was manageable, but the next fight is a brick wall even with champions. I think the main issue is the lack of ranged attacks, which allows the bowmen to attack the tent with impunity. (The healer is also hard to kill, and they effectively negate every attack you make while they're alive.) The only strategy I can think of is to keep the sisters adjacent to the tent, but they can only block two spaces, and that won't do anything to stop the bowmen and the pyro. If that doesn't work I'll grind them up to some ungodly level in the Gunther battle, hopefully allowing them to oneshot everyone. If that doesn't work, it's time to break out the bows.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: bugfartboy on August 10, 2015, 05:34:53 PM
Quote
Actually, apparently the sisters can use bows as well, so that changes things quite a bit
I just looked this up in ItemClasses.xml.  If this is indeed possible, I wouldn't rely on it too much.  If possible, it appears to be a bug.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Thaecrasis on August 10, 2015, 05:38:51 PM
It's not a bug; I just never noticed it before, but if you right click the Iron Bow for 'Requirements' it says 'Any Class'
Unless it is a bug, and it isn't suppose to be for any class.

Also, how do you overlevel Emma in the first mission, since she doesn't start with any non-damage way of getting exp?
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: bugfartboy on August 10, 2015, 05:49:45 PM
Code: [Select]
<Item name="Iron Bow" useableWith="Weapon Hand" requirements="c:Bowman,Bowmaster" endsStatus="" addsStatus="" grantsAtk="Bow" consumedAfter="45" itemValue="120" hpPlus="0" pspPlus="0" maxHPPlus="0" maxPsPPlus="0" spdPlus="0" dodgePlus="0" strPlus="5" perPlus="0" psyPPlus="0" psyDPlus="0" prcResPlus="0" slshResPlus="0" crshResPlus="0" mnResPlus="0" htResPlus="0" cdResPlus="0" ltResPlus="0" shResPlus="0" poiResPlus="0" accPlus="0" ctrLimitPlus="0" commonality="5" addsTags="" image="Bow" description="Ordinary iron bow. Strength +5."></Item>
The important part:
Code: [Select]
requirements="c:Bowman,Bowmaster"
I'd chalk it up to parsing issues in the new XML save file system, but I can't claim to understand the specifics of how the system works.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Chocobo_Fan on August 10, 2015, 05:53:10 PM
Quote
It's not a bug; I just never noticed it before, but if you right click the Iron Bow for 'Requirements' it says 'Any Class'
Uhh...are you sure? I just checked and it says "Bowman or Bowmaster". Emma couldn't equip it. Are you using the latest patch?

Quote
Also, how do you overlevel Emma in the first mission, since she doesn't start with any non-damage way of getting exp?
Attack Silithis every round in the training mission, then have her deal with the bandits on her own while Sabrina runs for the treasure chest. She should just barely make it to level 3 with one bandit still alive, at which point she gets Pull and Shove. The bandit won't attack, since the AI is smart enough not to commit suicide by counter-attack, so you can have the sisters pull each other for as long as you like.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Thaecrasis on August 10, 2015, 06:24:03 PM
http://imgur.com/s7rpGmT,Wb7cg8H
Using latest version and Iron Bow says anyone can use it.

Also when I tried farming exp from the first mission with the two bandits, the last bandit eventually did commit suicide by counter attack after maybe 10-15 turns
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: bugfartboy on August 10, 2015, 06:29:06 PM
http://imgur.com/s7rpGmT,Wb7cg8H
Using latest version and Iron Bow says anyone can use it.

Also when I tried farming exp from the first mission with the two bandits, the last bandit eventually did commit suicide by counter attack after maybe 10-15 turns
Code: [Select]
<Item name="Iron Bow" useableWith="Weapon Hand" requirements="c:Bowman,Bowmaster" endsStatus="" addsStatus="" grantsAtk="Bow" consumedAfter="45" itemValue="120" hpPlus="0" pspPlus="0" maxHPPlus="0" maxPsPPlus="0" spdPlus="0" dodgePlus="0" strPlus="5" perPlus="0" psyPPlus="0" psyDPlus="0" prcResPlus="0" slshResPlus="0" crshResPlus="0" mnResPlus="0" htResPlus="0" cdResPlus="0" ltResPlus="0" shResPlus="0" poiResPlus="0" accPlus="0" ctrLimitPlus="0" commonality="5" addsTags="" image="Bow" description="Ordinary iron bow. Strength +5."></Item>
The important part:
Code: [Select]
requirements="c:Bowman,Bowmaster"
I'd chalk it up to parsing issues in the new XML save file system, but I can't claim to understand the specifics of how the system works.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Chocobo_Fan on August 11, 2015, 04:31:46 AM
Quote
Also when I tried farming exp from the first mission with the two bandits, the last bandit eventually did commit suicide by counter attack after maybe 10-15 turns
That...is bizarre. More evidence that your version is buggy, perhaps. The only reason they should attack at critical health is if they can kill their target before the counter-attack.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: bugfartboy on August 11, 2015, 06:03:14 AM
That...is bizarre. More evidence that your version is buggy, perhaps. The only reason they should attack at critical health is if they can kill their target before the counter-attack.
Unless it's intentional. It could have been implemented to break AI loops. If you think back to TSoG, something similar had to be done: enemies would, at some point, do something that wouldn't make much sense from a strategy perspective because they hadn't achieved anything in a few turns.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Chocobo_Fan on August 12, 2015, 04:32:19 PM
Okay, so I gave the mission a few more tries. I can usually make it to the last wave, but the crossbowmen take too many potshots at the camp while I'm still busy mopping up the third wave. I do think that there are enough choke points that Sabrina can stall multiple people with traps while Emma whittles the army down, but even with focus pills Sabrina just doesn't have enough energy. (And Emma has to either two-shot everyone or use Double Strike, which is untenable.) I'm going to redo the Gunther battle and grind like a fiend this time -- but of course, no matter how strong the Striders are, the camp's strength is fixed, and they can still only kill one enemy per turn...

Edit: I redid Battle with Gunther and got them to level 20 (in champion levels) this time. I've had much better luck defending the camp, but I don't think I can actually win until the iron jaw trap bug is fixed. Traps are the only way to kill multiple enemies per turn, so if I can't rely on that I'm pretty stuck. I've had about three attempts that I think were winnable, but the iron jaw trap bug crashed the game when I was down to the last few enemies every time. :(
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Chocobo_Fan on August 15, 2015, 12:07:09 PM
I'm sorry to double post, but I felt this was bump-worthy: VICTORY IS MINE. I think it came down mostly to luck; I placed two iron jaw traps in the upper right to stall the second wave, and they ended up wasting most of their turns trying to destroy them before triggering them anyway. This managed to slow the upper forces long enough for Emma to deal with the crossbowmen in the final wave, and also gave Sabrina enough wiggle room to fall back and defend the camp for the final onslaught.

Everything after this should be a cakewalk, since level 22 champions can oneshot everything except the last few bosses, and are also virtually invincible. (Their physical resists are all currently in the 30-50% range, even without armor.) I'm sure my overconfidence is unfounded, however, so I'll be posting again when I inevitably hit another brick wall.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: bugfartboy on August 15, 2015, 12:23:05 PM
(Double posting is usually only condemned when it's in rapid succession.  You're fine!)

Congrats!  I've had trouble progressing through the campaign with a full army; trying with only the sisters sounds borderline masochistic.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Thaecrasis on August 15, 2015, 05:14:15 PM
Attack Silithis every round in the training mission, then have her deal with the bandits on her own while Sabrina runs for the treasure chest. She should just barely make it to level 3 with one bandit still alive, at which point she gets Pull and Shove. The bandit won't attack, since the AI is smart enough not to commit suicide by counter-attack, so you can have the sisters pull each other for as long as you like.

Wow, this is actually hilarious. In order to guarantee this method permanently working, I had a snare trap between the last guy and the two sisters, and between pulling, motivate, and placing a snare down every 2 turns, you can grind unto oblivion in the first mission xD ... so ridiculous :P

Edit: What has science done...http://imgur.com/39marLo ( http://imgur.com/AAiSWFu lol )

I'm sorry to double post, but I felt this was bump-worthy: VICTORY IS MINE. I think it came down mostly to luck; I placed two iron jaw traps in the upper right to stall the second wave, and they ended up wasting most of their turns trying to destroy them before triggering them anyway. This managed to slow the upper forces long enough for Emma to deal with the crossbowmen in the final wave, and also gave Sabrina enough wiggle room to fall back and defend the camp for the final onslaught.

Everything after this should be a cakewalk, since level 22 champions can oneshot everything except the last few bosses, and are also virtually invincible. (Their physical resists are all currently in the 30-50% range, even without armor.) I'm sure my overconfidence is unfounded, however, so I'll be posting again when I inevitably hit another brick wall.

I seem to have no such luck; my AIs never stop and attack my iron traps, they either ignore them entirely, or run into them immediately :/
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Chocobo_Fan on August 16, 2015, 04:17:57 AM
I seem to have no such luck; my AIs never stop and attack my iron traps, they either ignore them entirely, or run into them immediately :/
Yeah, it does seem a bit random. I focused most of my traps on the upper-right (where the second wave appears). One was in that narrow path directly below where the wave appears, another was to the left of that (but only blocking the way down, not the way left; I think blocking them out entirely would make them decide to just trip it, or worse, take the far right path), and another was in the choke point directly above the tent. I think I may have set one at the far right choke point too, but I remember them tripping that one every time, so maybe I didn't bother that time.

Remember that most of the enemies in that battle have between 19 and 23 HP, but some of them have up to 10% slash resistance. I would recommend at least 20 strength for both sisters, maybe slightly more. I believe Emma had 22 strength with the rusty sword when I started. Also, you could try waiting until the iron jaw trap bug is fixed; that should expand your strategic options considerably.

Edit: I suppose I should also mention that I tended to place the traps directly above the narrow passages, not inside them. I felt that way was better since it stops enemies earlier (especially important when factoring in the slow status from iron jaw traps).
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Chocobo_Fan on August 19, 2015, 09:06:15 AM
I...I did it. I actually did it.

Unfortunately, it was a little disappointing; though I do enjoy seeing people take on minimalist challenges that force them to find cool exploits and strategies, in RPGs that strategy is usually just "I hope you like level grinding!". You have to overlevel so much for the camp battle that everything after is trivial. I remembered the Coria Bridge battle as excruciatingly difficult, but I just ended up cheesing it by popping adrenaline pills. Rescuing Sarn Kamina got a little dicey, but I interpreted my challenge to mean I could use any vital (starred) unit, so Silithis managed to hold the line while the Striders murdered everything. I actually did lose Battle with Clotch a few times until I realized I had to rush the north tunnel if I didn't want to get overwhelmed, then it was easy. And, just like in my first game, I cheesed the final battle by flying over and oneshotting Tarion. I found that battles with lots of weak enemies were a lot harder than boss battles, but that's to be expected, considering that swordsmen specialize in dealing heavy damage to single enemies but have no method for crowd control. Their physical resistances got so high (those stats are without armor, by the way) that standard enemies couldn't do anything more than chip damage -- Sabrina actually managed to get over 100% crush resistance, and Emma got 101% slash resistance! The only thing that really posed a threat was Mind Blast, since unlike elemental attacks it can't be dodged, but you don't see enemies use that on a regular basis until the very end.

It was funny to see how it broke the story, though. There were so many scenes where Emma asked questions or gave orders to thin air. Also, I got to see everyone's last words! :D
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: bugfartboy on August 19, 2015, 10:16:35 AM
Congratulations! You completed the game in the most masochistic manner imaginable! What will you do next?

In all seriousness, wow. I think I'll leave the self abuse to you, and just play normally.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: CraigStern on August 19, 2015, 11:44:03 AM
Ha ha ha! Amazing. I had some doubts that this could actually be accomplished, but clearly they were unjustified. :D
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Chocobo_Fan on August 19, 2015, 03:07:02 PM
Well, I only managed it thanks to the Pull exploit. Without level grinding, I doubt I would have even made it past the caravan battle.

It occurs to me that it might make sense to make the final mission harder, either by buffing Tarion or changing the victory condition to "kill all enemies" (though the latter would be really evil). Boss enemies just aren't very tough in this engine.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: CraigStern on August 20, 2015, 01:54:00 PM
Yeah, I did that (http://sinisterdesign.net/forum/index.php?topic=1224.msg48859#msg48859) in the last patch. The main issue with that battle was with the scripting, I think, rather than with Tarion's stats.
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: Chocobo_Fan on August 20, 2015, 04:00:51 PM
It's still possible to rush Tarion by abusing adrenaline pills and overwhelm him before he can strike back, though. Oneshotting him definitely isn't guaranteed, but most players will have gotten both steamthopters, and two-shotting him is quite feasible for a reasonably-leveled party. Maybe make the gap between his island and the main battlefield an impassible barrier, to force players to use the switches?
Title: Re: Strider-only run
Post by: LightningLord2 on January 02, 2016, 03:00:48 PM
There's a few story breaking elements that can be fixed in a few ways:

1. Just let story-central characters who are not the striders get wounded instead of them dying so they can't fight but still contribute dialogue.

2. Create an NPC like Biff the Understudy whose sole purpose is to read out lines for people who've already died.

Also, why do adrenaline pills stack? The 40% move bonus stacks exponentially, the damage is basically nonexistent at high levels and they come in stacks of three. Having one of these and a steamthopter on a damage dealer is basically "instakill a unit anywhere on the map". +40% boost is okay for the non-repeatable sprint, though.