freespace2dotcom Posted April 18, 2014 Report Share Posted April 18, 2014 So I've played with DLC 16. I just thought I'd chime in a bit on my thoughts on it. as well as maybe give some feedback to the team. Since I thought I'd go for another attempt at a character expy of myself (probably 90% of my playthroughs are as such...) I have limited experience with the game outside of being an Aranaz student, etc, etc. I've read the lores and such in the modtools when I could, but its not quite the same as playing as a Vernin student, or as a secret mage with tons of forbidden knowledge. Firstly, I like self styling myself as an "Omni Disciplinarian", which I have come to personally interpret as a mage that focuses on trying to learn magic all across the board, focusing primarily on the main recognized pillars. Learning more specialized magic (like botany, or dialectic) is not very high priority, although I do tend to pick up a few skill steps in these from random events and so, but usually not enough to make an end of year roll on the skill. As such an Aranaz student, I like to focus on taking Negation, Incantation, Revision and Glamour in addition to the college classes of Aranaz, (Calligraphy and History) This is clearly "magic heavy" and I'm sure that in setting a student would be... politely dissuaded from taking so many of these classes, and indeed for a certain type of player you can probably accomplish more learning with a broader selection of classes as many random events have magic options that are useful at raising your skills over the year. I choose these classes partly for role-play and partly for the attribute boosts one receives when at study level 10. (not all of them do, but the other class bonuses aren't that bad either imo) When starting, I usually start studying at the venalicium until the option disappears and then I do either an adventure step I know I can accomplish or study at another library. I've gotten pretty good at nailing what order I need to do things with and can get my study levels for all classes at 10 about as early as possible for the attribute raises. (note that I am not really a save scummer. On a rare occasion at the very end of a year I get a little uptight about ensuring an adventure is finished on time now, but that isn't too bad as I rarely bother to even start classmate adventures on the kids I don't care about.) Once this Is done I have my library knowledge pretty high and have unlocked all the libraries that can be used to effectively make the train action obsolete. (I think that maybe the train action should also give a skillstep on something extra based on the location in which you train. that'd be a nice touch and give more value to both the action and choosing a location as largely I don't mess with either) I focus on learning at the Library of Longshade next. typically I try for learning a low subskill. One that is holding back its parent skill, and I do that along with more adventures until my concentration is maxed out. One thing that I have noticed is that more and more adventures not are completed rapid-fire in one day (if your skills are up to snuff) and that has a marked effect on the game as a whole. especially with DLC 16 as I will show in a moment. Anyway I continue focusing on training at the other libraries, even the Library of the Mantle of the Stars. I find it useful for unlocking all the astrology subskills but even if it doesn't give as much skill steps as some actions *cough* the Sphinx *cough* I greatly prefer it because I would rather focus on making sure I know one skil that is important to me (a pillar of magic) than a bunch of other skills that are probably too specialized for me on average. (plus the sphinx is rather high on requirements but that's another thing all together.) I focus on skills that I think I need for my adventures, or easy attribute gains/utility. (acrobatics/conceal are usually raised to at least 4, and then it makes sense to go for sleight of hand 4, too) Somewhere along this time is the midterms, but I don't care about them. my study is maxed and all class skills are maybe at 5-7 at this point. (I don't train these class skills at all. Mostly there's no need except maybe 1 random subskill at the end sometimes) not to mention that midterms hold barely any weight compared to the finals and time is too precious. After the exams I mostly spam adventure, but it varies a lot. I typically Attend prof Sido's back office to unlock language skills and raise his relationship to ten. I like raising instructor relationships but I find it hard to do so outside of adventures. I liked the Incantation class adventure for that reason. I'm pretty sure that was added in DLC 16 as I think I would have remembered it despite there being one for most other classes. I always do the Lord of hawks adventure so I can get the book of deep shadows. I have access to the forbidden section of the Venalicium by now, but unlocking those Mastery skills is way easier, faster and safer this way.(no randomly selecting Mastery methods 4 times in a row) Still, I'm forced to do this with Gates to unlock the subskills (I don't like the secret heritage background as it takes a point and also more or less sucks you into Schohanwicht, which I think is an unhealthy relationship in the long run) Still I only merely unlock these skills as I feel that such knowledge can be dangerous and honestly I've got adventures to complete right now so it gets put on the backburner. Later, after I get down to the last few tough adventures that require that extra oomph to complete I start measuring exactly what I need to accomplish in order to make the current run a satisfactory attempt for Y2. In this last runthrough, this part of the game came about a month earlier than it normally does. This, I attribute to having extra adventures ironically, which gave me more attributes in a faster time allowing me to acquire skills faster, allowing for adventures to be completed faster. It was pretty amazing. I've pretty much maxed out most of the main pillars skills at this point, also. Aranaz got most of the merit prizes thanks very little to me (I did help a little) ironically I pay tuition for contu's incantation school only so that I can unlock the diction subskill by taking irregular studies. (so I can get enspell at 10, which is practically the only way I can reliably finish the sphinx syndicate adventure. Plus enspell seems like another magic heavy skill to know) The end result of having an extra month to fool around with was raising more skills. I've never felt that research was worthy of my time despite the potential for raising the level caps on skills. (Too much time spent for that) so instead I wound up training other skills, including Gates and Mastery to beyond casual contact levels (though not all the way.. 'just' to 4) I understand that you don't want to let certain skills get too far ahead (especially the magical ones) but it does feel a little sucky to want to learn more direct magic skills and have to resort to needing to learn the proscribed arts to continue growing in magical prowess. (I don't care about plants, by and large, even if you get some plant-centric phemes and spells by learning botany, you're not really growing as a mage, imo) The only magical skills I think I didn't learn were the new synchronicity skills, and that has more to do with the fact that I am unwilling to limit myself because somebody says I need a mark to keep me from going out and taking over all of Mineta. (well, that and they do take a lot of effort to learn.) I realize that synchronicity is supposed to be a relatively beneficial form/offshoot of Mastery but the way I see it 'Regular' Mastery should still be able to do that stuff too (unless for game mechanics' sake the team chooses not to do that, which would be a shame, imo) and by learning regular mastery in secret well, sure that's a danger but at least you're not advertising that you're practicing it should the powers that be decide something unpleasant for you.. I LOVED that adventure, though. seriously! Anyway, eventually my game gets down to the wire and I start finishing learning certain skills that need a little extra oomph to complete... like Orthography. and use timeslots for spells to get better finals scores or finish the odd troublesome adventure. When it comes right down to it, I think I've mostly got the game down pat, and I don't think I can do much better than this latest playthrough without save scumming (in fact, my char got perfect attendance this time around, a first for me considering I rested maybe 3 times in the year, max. The truth of the matter is, I think the game is pretty tapped out as far as "Potential for getting a better Char for Y2" goes. sure, more adventures will be nice for a DLC 17, but I for one am ready for Y2, and all of the new challenges that await, as I'm not going to be practically raising my Incantation past 13 in Y1.... On a side note, I seriously acquired a fair bit more items this playthrough as well as a more balanced acquisition of attribute points, but Insight is still pretty crazy. If you take into account my accursed 'slightly queezy' effect my insight at endgame was 18! (the rest was at 10 at best) Just my 2 cents. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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