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Post by rosareven on Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:39 am

As some of you might have already known, I'm new to NWN altogether let alone Aenea. Right now I find myself dying at least once when I log on to tackle a few ants or even just to explore the wilderness a little. Is there more to preparation that I am missing? Or is dying frequently a normal sign for newbies? Just want to clarify my frustration in this post.

Things that I've been doing so far:

- Getting whatever +armor items that I can get when possible, or cast defensive spells on my sorceress
- Using pets, been the easiest way to solo so far but I figured that can't be exactly right for no-pet classes
- Grouping up, but what when I'm the only one online?
- What do I do with a large pack of enemies? How can I pull a few without pulling all of them?

I think my biggest problem is facing large group of monsters when I'm on the quests. The ants and goblins both involve one area with a lot of monsters, and those are where I die all the time by myself. Surely there's a better way to approach them that I'm missing?
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Post by odbo255 on Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:15 am

Hello and welcome!

Aenea is a very different setting and with enough customizations that you could arguably say that it is a different game than NWN altogether.

Your experience is not unusual, there is a definite learning curve.

rosareven wrote:
- Grouping up, but what when I'm the only one online?
- What do I do with a large pack of enemies? How can I pull a few without pulling all of them?

I think my biggest problem is facing large group of monsters when I'm on the quests. The ants and goblins both involve one area with a lot of monsters, and those are where I die all the time by myself. Surely there's a better way to approach them that I'm missing?

Aenea has an active player base, but you are correct, it is unusual for there to be more than 3 or 4 players online at a time and not uncommon for there to be only one. My advice is to take advantage of the times that there are other players online to the best of your abilities, ask questions, see if someone is willing to party up, etc. There is a graphic on the home landing page that has a current count of players.

Groups of enemies in open spaces are tough. That's why you shouldn't fight them there and pull them into chokepoints instead. I had a really hard time with the ant quest as well.


Spoiler:

There is a chokepoint on the bridge crossing the water before you enter the back-most portion of the hive. Wake up the hive by entering into the queen's chamber and then run back to the bridge and make your stand there.

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Post by Ramana Jala on Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:49 am

Unfortunately at lower levels, below up to about level 12-15, you're going to die a few times. Mages are worst at this, as they are weakest until they get better spells and lots of slots for them. But that said, there are techniques for encountering enemies, and like I mentioned to you, I do believe that Aenea and its scaling and special items are fairly optimized for soloing. Most of my leveling with my two characters was done entirely solo. Groups are very helpful, even just one companion, but you can do it yourself. And I've never used henchmen from the League (so can't tell you of what value they may contribute).

My first character here was a Ranger/Rogue/ShadowDancer. My second character is pure Wizard. I discovered that there are two rules. Be indetectable, and isolate enemies down to one at a time. Isolating enemies is indeed very desirable, and can be done. It can be done in the open, but some of the best places to do it are places with obstacles, like caves. And yes, totally use chokepoints, like doors, to have enemies have to line up one at a time in front of you rather than surround you. And then also put some barrier between you and them, like a barrier of ice or force, or a summons. There's no shame in any class using summons/companions/pets like this when at low level, and I can think of the appropriate RP to substantiate it, like a sorcerer is supposed to have the charisma to mentally influence creatures. Generally, mages at low levels should stay well away from melee reach.

So, have several doses of the spell Invisibiliy, either in your active spellbook or items or scrolls. Invisibility is so useful for a mage's reconnaissance that many get a custom rod of it via their reward vouchers. Have some ranged weapon like a bow, or a spell, this will be for attracting the attention of just one single opponent. Have your defenses up to the maximum with whatever items you can find, and make sure you have Ioun stones active, and defensive spells either active or ready to activate (at lower levels they last so little time, so activate them at the last possible moment). Have summons or companions to run interference for you. And be ready to run about or away (the Boots of Striding and Springing are helpful).

So, when you're intent on encountering some opponents, be invisible via spell (or otherwise undetectable, like with stealth Hide/MoveSilently, plus Hide In Plain Sight to re-stealth quickly). Scout around for solo creatures or a small group, of those that are moving about and not staying clumped. Still invisible, skirt around the edge of the group, and position yourself so that you're nearly out of range of most of them. Find one of the group that's getting a little further from the rest and see if you can get to where you're at the edge of his travel, but out of detection range of the rest of the group. When he comes back to that furtherest point, hit him with your ranged weapon or single-target spell to get his attention, and if possible, make it count towards damage. If you've been successful at staying away out of view of the main group, then only the isolated enemy will then come after you. Lead him further away from the group, as far as practical, so that your manoeuvres won't attract the attention of the group. Keep him off of you with the distraction of a summons, and then pelt him with spells or other ranged weapon until he's dead. Repeat with isolating another. If you get in over your head, either run away or cast another Invisibility.

When I made my mage, I was very cautious with her until I got her up to about level 12. I found enemies that were alone, or that wouldn't fight back too much, like bats in the cornfields. Lots and lots of bats. I even used a levelup bonus reward voucher, to get her from 11 to 12. Don't choose such a voucher over a custom item voucher (always choose the custom item vouchers, even if you don't have any idea what to do with them for a while), but if you get a reward chest that doesn't have any custom item voucher but has a levelup voucher, then grab it. As soon as I got to the level where I could cast Barrier of Force (Level 7), I took on the Umber Hulks in the bottom of Mountainholm mine. Putting myself in a corner and casting the Barrier, then pelting them with bow and spells until they were all dead. Made several levels with that method. I didn't really feel ready to take on the goblin groups on the road until I'd leveled up to get a few area damage spells, so I went by them invisible. When by these safer methods, I advanced over level 13, then I felt like my mage could finally cope with the general world.

I hope you find some of these methods helpful! Keep with it over the new toon difficulty and soon at middle levels you'll have smoother sailing.
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Post by daveyeisley on Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:14 am

Yes - low levels are very tough.

Invisibility is a great tool - for both escape and scouting.

Minions/Pets are an excellent way to manage fights where you are up against multiple enemies.

Using chokepoints can also make groups of enemies more manageable.

Healling Kits from Mother Felicity in the Vale are probably the cheapest out-of-combat healing you can find.

Its my least favorite part of the low-levels, but it is pretty much a requirement - you have to avoid the main hive of ants, and the last few rooms of goblins, just killing the scattered enemies in the areas before those two spots, until you levelup and have the tools and hitpoints to clear them. This means a somewhat tedious process of fighting your way up to those spots, turning around and fighting your way out, then repating this (maybe switching locations between the goblins and ants a couple times for variety) until you accrue enough XP to level.
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Post by RustyDios on Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:28 pm

Also remember to pack food, or find a ring of sustenance... up to level 4 you can rest (sleep) freely, and I think up to level 6 (maybe 8 ) you can rest every 4hours (or so), after that the 8hours rule comes into force.

The above are all good tactics too. At low levels I prefer to run and use a healing kit then a potion. Potions are expensive and might not heal you enough to mitigate the next blow. Healing kits are not cheap either but have 20 uses before they are used up... Run away, heal, rest. Rejoin the fight.

Also keep in mind you get exploration xp in Aenea, so fight little and explore lots at lower levels. Stick to the main roads for an easier time.

Try to stock potions of escape and put them on an easily touchable quickslot (I have mine on F12), when your health is really low, one or two hits from death, drink one. It is better to run and fight another day then die and loose xp.

Only keep the +1/special items for sale. Even more important if you can't carry much. Sacrifice everything you don't need to keep/sell. This will help you to build piety with your god which will help mitigate the xp loss from death.

Sell things in Campton/ Macedone/ Moutainholme rather then Vale, you will generally get more gold.

Start making teleport points already. Even though it will be a while before you can use any teleport spells, the slots can be used and setup already for later.

Try to beg/ barter a book of the scribe (which gives 50 blank scrolls). Spend some time scribing in a library (there is one in Bluebeards tower in the vale). Scrolls take up space but don't weigh anything. You can have 50 in one stack. Scribe your spells a lot. Especially before level up, scribe the spells you use often so you have a good stock of that spell. Change your spells at level up. This gives the limited spell selection of sorcs a bit more range...


Hope that helps a bit, welcome to Aenea, and hope to see you in-game !!
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Post by rosareven on Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:57 pm

Wow thank you guys. There're plenty of tricks here to practice that'll keep me busy for a while XD

Regarding play time, unfortunately I come from down under with study and various life errands. When I do play, most Northern hemisphere people are asleep already. I see how this is an unavoidable problem everywhere so I started this thread to see what I can do on my own when I have to.

@Ramana: I still firmly believe in the possibility of soloing in Aenea. Just having trouble figuring out how. Cheers for the many tips you have there!

So here is my check list of what I'm going to practice, according to this thread so far (self-imposed quest woohoo):

- Be indetectable (do warrior-type people have a way with that too?)
- Really really keep as many pets as I can active
- Use choke points!!! I totally didn't think of that. D'oh
- Pick on wandering enemy from a group to isolate them, or just come back later
- Healing kits for cheap healing. I should be running away when fights are tough enough to drop me low health anyway.
- Explore a lot for low level exp.
- Use potion of escape! I have some but I kept forgetting to use it

@Rusty: Making scrolls cost exp doesn't it? Is that why I should prepare them at low level?
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Post by Eric of Atrophy on Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:17 pm

Personally, I usually make use of the bandages ... you can use one set five times per rest, so if you've got a load of them, you can imagine the healing you can accomplish. Plus they don't weigh a lot and are cheaply priced. Can't go wrong with a paneful of bandages! (Although it can be painful to get rid of them!)

I also sell off the stack of 10 Asis potions you get at the start. This gives the PC a nice chunk of change to help outfit with nicer armor/weapons.

And a favorite hunting place of mine is the graveyard ... if the Sparky spawner is firing in your favor, you've got loads of enemies to clobber, and chances are good some of them will drop cool weapons that you can use or sell for cooler gold. The biggest reason I like this area so much is because of the Skeletal Guardian by the gates ... if things get too exciting, or if a Corpse Devourer unexpectedly shows up, I just hike back to the gates, and my good friend SG whomps on the baddie.

All this activity also gives you remains to sacrifice, as well. Personally, I always sacrifice remains individually - if you mass-sacrifice your remains, you have a chance of getting a better reward, but I have the absolutely worst luck of all, so I'd rather get the few points of xp, not to mention the piety (and who can forget the "Useful Elixir," too)!

Anyways, most of the folks who posted in this thread are hard-hitters, so their advice is tried and true, and highly recommended.

Oh, by the by, rosareven, my name is Eric of Atrophy (atrophied_eric ingame). If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to post them here or fire off a PM ingame ... if I can, I will help you out, as would most of the playerbase!

Having said all that, welcome to Aenea, friend! I hope your stay is long and full of play!
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Post by rosareven on Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:25 pm

Thanks for the kind words Eric. Yeah I love that skeletal guardian guy at the graveyard. He's such an awesome bro.

I agree about using bandages. Think I read about that in another thread and it makes sense for low level's hp.
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Post by rosareven on Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:15 am

I have an update on the fruit of my practice:

The Ant Hive Queen is no more. With the tricks that you guys have taught me here, my ranger/druid managed to pick off the army of grubs and hive guards one by one, and eventually, nothing but the queen itself.

I pretty much skirted around the edge of the big group in stealth mode. One or two grubs would manage to see me and chase after me (funny enough without alerting the rest of the hive). Repeated with a lot of patience until there were only the two queens left, who somehow have worse perception than the grubs.

Here are some moments of my victory:

Basic survival tips? Aenea_11

Basic survival tips? Aenea_12

My guardians of nature (bear in the picture and a temporary summon pet that died soon after engaging in combat) have taken damage for me as well as devastated the ant queen with their mighty strength.

Thank you guys again for the comprehensive tips. This little accomplishment of mine has really got me excited!
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Post by daveyeisley on Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:05 am

Nicely done!
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Post by Eric of Atrophy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:42 am

Good job, friend!
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Post by odbo255 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:31 am

Good show! cheers
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Post by Ramana Jala on Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:59 am

Excellent !
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