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Old December 14, 2020, 03:59   #11
archolewa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMedley View Post
But since you're trying to be efficient with your potions, you're probably casting spells at much lower HP than most would dare, in order to maximize the built-in healing. And in that scenario those fail rates could be crucial.
Exactly this. I use my spells at every opportunity (especially Leap into Battle) until I start getting stat potions, and my normal blows start growing faster than my spell blows. Level 20 is, needless to say, a big level for me, where my damage output doubles. I even make pretty heavy use of Beserk Strength early to get every to-hit bonus I can. The only time I hold off on casting is if I'm trying to save up spell points to cast Grim Purpose.
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Old December 17, 2020, 23:39   #12
Selkie
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So I was inspired by Archolewa's blackguard post to try the class properly for the first time. I found I really enjoyed, particularly when I levelled up to around 15 and could start using the combat spells properly. I'm used to playing as rogues, so I needed to adjust my play style slightly but it actually felt really natural. I ran a high elf following the suggestions.

* I love the regeneration through fighting. In my first five minutes I tried resting to recover, something I do often and conservatively as most other classes. Obviously this didn't work at all. Rather than wasting time resting, instead I worried a bit less about this obsession of always keeping HP and SP at full and began just hunting more monsters to kill. It's actually a lot more fun in terms of game play. When you get lots of combat spells and use them then you regenerate really quickly.

* I liked being able to wield heavy weapons and armour without penalties. I was always a bit miffed as a rogue (particularly below level 20) that a dagger or main gauche would do more damage than a meaty mace, it never felt quite right to me. Now with the limited number of blows it's obviously less of an issue.

* One of the best things about the class is the spellbooks are all killer no filler. When I play as a ranger I find myself spamming the same couple of spells. There are books where I only use one spell. Even as a rogue it's a bit like this. Every spell in the first book had such a specific and clever use and I liked the way I could combine various spells for even greater effect. Leap into Battle is one of my favourite spells, especially combined with Whirlwind attack. It's also really good for picking off fleeing monsters. Obviously Maim is a key spell, and werewolf.

* I noticed when I was poisoned I wasn't taking hit damage each turn, which I would normally do. Maybe every three turns or so. Is this supposed to be the case?
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Old December 18, 2020, 00:10   #13
DavidMedley
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Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
* I noticed when I was poisoned I wasn't taking hit damage each turn, which I would normally do. Maybe every three turns or so. Is this supposed to be the case?
Whenever any class is poisoned, normal HP regeneration is halted and 1 HP is lost per turn. This hurts BGs a little less, though, since their normal HP regen is only 1/2 the normal rate. Plus, if you have any SP, they heal you a little as they fade away. If you have zero SP then your HP will decline exactly like other classes.

The idea behind fading SP healing you was that it wasn't fun to cast spells just to burn SP to get some HP back. Since those fading SP heal you at double efficiency vs casting, there's usually no incentive to spam spells outside of combat.
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Old December 18, 2020, 00:19   #14
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Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
* I love the regeneration through fighting. In my first five minutes I tried resting to recover, something I do often and conservatively as most other classes. Obviously this didn't work at all. Rather than wasting time resting, instead I worried a bit less about this obsession of always keeping HP and SP at full and began just hunting more monsters to kill. It's actually a lot more fun in terms of game play. When you get lots of combat spells and use them then you regenerate really quickly.
Reviews like this and Archolewa's are really rewarding to read. I really wanted to give incentives to aggressive play, and it's very satisfying to see people responding to that and having fun. Obviously, you still have to be careful and I think "Seek Battle" is, honestly, more useful to sniff out the battles you want to avoid, but I'd like to think that we succeeded in making aggressive play fun and effective.

Thanks!
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Old December 18, 2020, 00:30   #15
Selkie
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Originally Posted by DavidMedley View Post
Reviews like this and Archolewa's are really rewarding to read. I really wanted to give incentives to aggressive play, and it's very satisfying to see people responding to that and having fun. Obviously, you still have to be careful and I think "Seek Battle" is, honestly, more useful to sniff out the battles you want to avoid, but I'd like to think that we succeeded in making aggressive play fun and effective.

Thanks!
It's a funny mix actually. You do have to be really careful and avoid fights, especially early on. At the same time, to survive you need to be windmilling into the monsters. It's quite a balancing act. I'm surprised at how quickly a few spells and a few blows can replenish the health.

I'm still experimenting with the class but I can say it's one of my favourites. I do miss not having object detection, but you can't win them all. I've just got so unlucky with my randart drops that I haven't been able to progress very far with my three attempts, all have died around clvl 29.

I can tell the balancing act for this class must have been really tough, and required a lot of play testing. I'm impressed so far.

Last edited by Selkie; December 18, 2020 at 02:28.
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Old December 18, 2020, 01:57   #16
archolewa
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I find that the the late twenties to early thirties character levels are the most dangerous for Blackguards. They don't have the brutally effective werewolf form yet, nor are they doing and taking enough damage to keep their SP perpetually filled. Furthermore, their damage, while more than adequate in the very early game, hasnt been able to keep up.

However, by the time you get werewolf form, not only does that form massively increase your damage, but you are also very likely to have found a heavy, high damage dice artifact or ego weapon (my personal favorite at that point is Totila). And thats when Blackguards really turn into engines of destruction.
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Old December 18, 2020, 16:31   #17
Selkie
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Yeah the late 20s are tough. You make real progress until you get maim foe, which is a real game changer for a few levels after receiving the ritual. Then your melee combat can't quite keep pace with the monsters. I kept diving through the dungeon in my first three attempts, but I think I was too deep. I'm playing a lot more conservatively now and making sure I'm always a dungeon level lower than my character level.

I'm not sure if it's because I don't have the object detection spell, but in all four games so far I've had terrible luck with randarts. I'm not finding any weapons or launchers, the best I've had is a helmet with +3 INT and dark resistance... So a poor haul.

Still really enjoying the blackguard. My keyboard is m,a,a,m,a,b, m,b,a,m,a,c,m,a,c,m,a,c,m,a,e,m,b,a,m,a,c.... And so on, and so on
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Old December 18, 2020, 17:54   #18
wobbly
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Getting good AC can help too. If you're taking less damage its easier to keep recuperating it with whirlwind attacks.
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Old December 18, 2020, 21:37   #19
archolewa
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Getting good AC can help too. If you're taking less damage its easier to keep recuperating it with whirlwind attacks.

This. I often make pretty heavy use of Rings of Protection in the early game, and tend to prioritize AC on my armor over other things early on. I also dont bother with Rings of Reckless Attack. You dont have enough blows to get much out of the damage bonus, so its not worth the AC penalty.
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Old December 19, 2020, 05:47   #20
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What about Berserk Strength? Is the +melee skill (used to be +to-hit) worth the -AC, or is it just useful for protection against fear?
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