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AoW1 General Discussion & Strategies
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Topic Subject: What upgrades does my hero most need
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posted 10-23-01 12:32 PM EDT (US)   
once it has 10 hit points, 10 defense and spell casting one?

Right, so I've discovered here that marksmanship is really useful

Suppose that I've upgraded my hero to 10 hit points and 10 defense, but still only have resistance and attack of about 4 each, I know it depends on map and race and things like that but, as a general rule:

Should I be concentrating on
increasing attack
increasing resistance
increasing damage
increasing spellcasting
increasing marksmanship?

"Shooting down a plane of civilians isn't careless, it's politcal opportunism." - Stormraider
posted 10-23-01 02:09 PM EDT (US)     1 / 54  
Well, if you haven't already gotten them, get Parry and Charge...
Resistance is also quite important if you've neglected it. You'll look pretty funny cursed or poisoned or stunned or vertigo'd or entangled. Not to mention instakilled by Reapers, or charmed/seduced/dominated.

Marksmanship is only useful if you know you'll be able to use a ranged attack of some sort.

Damage is expensive to increase, so I leave it for last. I usually find that the game's over before I feel like I need to slap points into damage. It's easy to increase with items and spells, and a 5 or 6 damage is plenty most of the time.

Hit Points are most comfortable if you can push them to about 15 total (increase of 5). I usually start putting points into Hit Points when Def is around 8 and Res is around 6. Level up, one point to Def, one point to HP.

Don't neglect the other skills based on situations, though. Mountaineering can be incredibly useful on the right map. Cave Crawling makes a big difference underground, as does Night Vision. If you have a spellcaster or a hero with a ranged attack, you can ignore Att and grab Leadership to boost all of the units travelling with you. Bard's Skills can be an incredible boon if you are or capture Highmen or Undead.

In other words, there's no shortage of places to spend hero's points.

One thing to remember: in a medium or small multiplayer map, Spellcasting is almost always too expensive to worry about. The 20 points could much better be put into something else (4 Defense points, Archery and Mark. II, something).

posted 10-23-01 02:15 PM EDT (US)     2 / 54  
Increasing resistance is crucial. You won't last a second against a reaper or avatar, without high resistance and you're in trouble against dragon breath

I'd increase spellcasting at this point, if not earlier. Even if you don't use combat spells, you may need healing water more than once, you may want to town gate, disjoin a global spell, etc.

I would go with damage over marksmanship, but they obviously tradeoff to a degree. And you can get some additional damage from items and spells

And think also about increasing your movement, which has some subtle benefits.

posted 10-23-01 02:37 PM EDT (US)     3 / 54  
Good suggestion about the movement points, I've found that particularly useful on a hasted hero in the past. I always tend to give my heroes wall climbing quite soon in the game, and on a few specific maps mountaineering too

"Shooting down a plane of civilians isn't careless, it's politcal opportunism." - Stormraider
posted 10-24-01 09:53 AM EDT (US)     4 / 54  
Rog, you're probably more experienced than I am, but here are my ideas....

I usually get Wall Climbing and Parry as quickly as possible. Then, I start raising Defense and Hit Points equally, until I reach 7-8 Def and 12-14 Hit Points. Then, I branch out and start boosting my Resistance. Frankly, the special skills that require Resistance usually don't appear until a little later in the game.

Marskmanship is critical if you have a good ranged attack (like Hurl Stones), and even more critical if you expect to be battling fliers. Other skills can be very helpful, but you'll know if you need them. Particularly, if you're fighting the Gobbos, get some Poison Resistance to protect you from the darn Darters.

Like everyone else, I usually neglect Spell Casting until late in the game. Furthermore, the advantage conveyed by each new level of Spell Casting is less than the level you just achieved. In other words, Spell Casting II is more important than Spell Casting III, and so on. Why? Well, Spell Casting II will halve the casting time of any big spells (like Summon Gold Dragon) when compared to Spell Casting I. However, if you already have Spell Casting II, then achieving Spell Casting III will only make that mega-spell finish one-third quicker. See my point? With this issue in mind, I'll frequently save the points for Spell Casting II, but I rarely bother with any of the higher levels.

NOTE: I'm not considering battle magic in my calculations, because it's just not very useful in AoW. Sure, a few of the low-level combat spells can be handy, but only in the early game. The high-level combat spells are rarely worth the effort required to cast them. However, some of the expensive overland spells (like the Dragon summoning) can be very nice indeed....

posted 10-25-01 01:40 AM EDT (US)     5 / 54  
Unless you are fighting a human player (who if he/she has brains will study dispel magic) I recommend at least having spell casting I. This opens you leader up to many good magics. For example: stone skin, death ray and solar flare earlier in the game, fury (for Warlocks), healing water, remedy, ice shards, summon a unit (that can be hand if you are playing a small map and need a boost on speed to get ahead of another player or reach a pivotal city one turn in advance), entangle, bless, dark gift, haste, vaporize, and these are just a few. I find having spell casting I or II a great combination in any game. However, the hero has to be at least tolerable in stats to think about this. And don't ever forget parry or charge (they are 5 sp each and only one measly lvl. to get quite a boost).
posted 10-25-01 10:08 AM EDT (US)     6 / 54  
Not sure what dispell magic has to do with taking spell casting I, though. Oh, I've only played pbem games against humans, which is fast combat and the AI never casts dispell magic. I suppose that makes sense in an online game.
posted 10-25-01 10:28 AM EDT (US)     7 / 54  
I also found that you don't need to push your defense above 7 or 8 before taking those other skills, because you can use a number of spells and items to make it 10. Somethig similar goes for attack, allthough I rarely need a level ten attack to finish the enemy. I have never played multiplayer, but I do know that in the campaigns it pays of to have at least spellcasting three. It allows you to towngate in two turns, and it's very handy to perform rapid first aid whith healing showers if your troops are hit with a poisonous cloud. Besides that, your hero generates more mana for every extra level, so that you are not onely capable of casting liquid form straight into the game, but you also generate enough mana to keep it up without draining yourself completely. Beyond level three, it gets slightly less important, but with spellcasting five you can towngate in a single turn, which is neat.
It also depends on your playing style. I like to use my leader as a scout, so when the essential skills are taken care of, I like to buff up moving skills and vision. I actually discovered some pretty hidden dungeons in the caves and depths because my hero eats his carrots.

It is an ex-parrot
posted 11-01-01 03:52 PM EDT (US)     8 / 54  
I always go for leadership early, especially on big maps. Giving a whole stack of units +1 on attack is a nice bonus.

If the map is stingy with mana, spellcasting can help because of the +5 mana you get with each level.

I always pick leadership first, then defense and some resistance. Charge and parry are great additions. And if you aren't playing the Azracs, so is wall climbing.

Every game is different though, and I think there are many paths to success.

posted 11-24-01 09:54 PM EDT (US)     9 / 54  
I usually start learning some of the below before I have a defense of 10.

(in no particular order).

Leadership (I usually get this first)
More Spellcasting
Wall Climbing
More Marksmanship
Bardic Skills (if you might have access to useful foreign troops)

[This message has been edited by Alex Mars (edited 11-24-2001 @ 09:55 PM).]

posted 11-26-01 12:14 PM EDT (US)     10 / 54  
I think my approach to hero upgrading must be unlike most other peoples'... I thought this was interesting; so here is pretty much what I do.

I try to give all heroes at least Spellcasting I. Occasionally I make an exception for an orc hero and make him a completely melee fighter, with no spellcasting or ranged attack. Also, all heroes, regardless of their race and specialty (more on that later) get Parry and Wall Climbing. It's just too annoying to drag rams, catapults, etc. around, unless you've got access to azrac units or dwarves. Anyway it works well to just hop over the wall in tactical.

In addition, I tend to upgrade attack, defense, resistance, and damage equally. I usually don't try to assign many specialty skills or upgrade spellcasting until these are all at 5. (An exception might be made for a hero who's found a bunch of items and doesn't really need the defense early on). I always try to keep these all as level as possible. I try to make the Hit Points twice these other values. So, since most heroes start off with 10 hit points, I upgrade all of these values to 5, and add Spellcasting I, Parry, and Wall Climbing if necessary.

Then each hero specializes. I often keep the same specialization for stock heroes across scenarios. I always make Esmeralda primarily a spell caster. I always make Doktok primarily a melee fighter. Each either gets to be an excellent fighter (with Round Attack, Charge, etc.), an excellent marksman (with the appropriate form of ranged attack, and Marksmanship up to IV), a priest type (healing -- this is usually just Sondra and Esmeralda, Turn Undead, etc.), a spellcaster type (Spell Casting IV, usually supplemented by ranged), a thief (for Roderick and others who come with Poison Strike, I add Poison Darts, Poison Resistance, and some melee skills), or sometimes a paladin type (a mix of some spell casting, some fighter skills, some priest skills, Holy/Unholy Champion and dragon slaying).

I also tend to specialize by race. Elves almost always get archery, not another form of ranged attack. Goblins almost always get poison darts. If I were designing the stock heroes, I would give all halflings hurl stones. I usually give dark elves and elves a lot of magic, and rely more on brute strength for orcs and dwarves.

I think everyone tends to think of building your heroes a certain way... perhaps from their backgrounds. Since I have primarily played RPGs in the past I tend to think of hero characters as belonging to professions or classes, and specialize them in a particular way depending on what I think they should be.

posted 11-27-01 06:30 PM EDT (US)     11 / 54  
What, exactly, does "leadership" do?

Parry is a good one. Almost took out someone who was definitely going to kill me first go because of Parry.

posted 11-27-01 09:13 PM EDT (US)     12 / 54  
> What, exactly, does "leadership" do?

Gives +1 to attack to every unit stacked with a hero having the ability. In effect makes him that much better when used as a commander (rather then an individual melee unit).

posted 11-28-01 10:13 AM EDT (US)     13 / 54  
My hero strategy depends a lot on the map I'm playing. I usually like to have everyone have spell casting I or better, but will wait until defense is at least 6-7 before saving for that. If I have a lot of heroes or on a big map with a lot of ruins/artifacts, then I might go for abilities first, hoping for good weapons and armor to help out with stat increases. With a lot of heroes, I tend to specialize more, with some going melee, some scout, some magic. Everyone gets wallclimbing asap. Fighters get att and def, obviously, with leadership, sometimes bardskills, all the combat abilities, some extra move and lots of hit points. Scouts get lots of movement, vision, ranged attack with marksmanship, and whatever concealment I can muster. Magic users are a bit obvious, I suppose.

If I don't have a lot of heroes, then emphasis is on fighting ability, since that typically increases XP faster, and promotes faster level raising and a faster transition to magic use.

posted 11-28-01 05:44 PM EDT (US)     14 / 54  
These are the hero skills I invest in: (in this order)

All Spellcastings
Cold strike
Cold immunity
All Marksmanships
Frost Bolts

(of course I am usually frostlings or lizards when i use this order)

posted 12-27-01 10:15 PM EDT (US)     15 / 54  
i use this order:
Round Attack
Spell Casting
Hit points
Life Stealing
Some bolts[usually try to get frost or lightning]

| To[x]icity | Acolyte Studios |
"Great spirits have always suffered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
posted 12-28-01 04:59 AM EDT (US)     16 / 54  
I don't think dominate, immunities, bolts and strikes (except extra strike) are available as hero upgrades. At least not in TS136 rules. You would need items to get these.

If I'm editing my leader I always take regeneration and usualy also lightning strike. This only costs me 20 points, but it helps a lot. Then I first build up defence. If I have lightning strike I also build up attack, but defence is still my primary focus. When I have about 7 defence I turn my atention to other things.

I always take parry and wall climbing. I also find extra strike a nice adition. I always rather use 20 points on extra strike and attack than on 2 damage. Life stealing is nice just as well, but works better when fighting hordes of weaklings than versus a single powerful adversary.

Lord Dragatus, 30th member of BTOOIC, The One Who Killed the Cow.

[This message has been edited by LordDragatus (edited 01-01-2002 @ 11:39 AM).]

posted 01-01-02 07:02 PM EDT (US)     17 / 54  
dominate isnt, but i ALWAYS put it on my leader!
immunities aren't either .

My favorite heroes to use are probably Shai Eggbuster and Resh Redhead.

I like Shai because he was the first lizard hero i got, and became useful because Shai's path is in your hands...

Resh Redhead is a mini-red dragon. Give him wind walking and poof...uhh, almost a red dragon.
Fire Breath is naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasty.
Fire immunity...must have fire immunity!!!
now he can sit on the lava waiting for dwarfie firstborns...

Gorthak the Black seems to be a popular hero to use.
I see why - his path is in your hands and he starts with death strike . In a lot of maps i see goblin leaders named: Gorthak, Gorthak Killer, Gorthak da' Black...
and many other variations...

I squee'd like a fangirl when the Frostlings were announced for AoW3. True story.

[This message has been edited by Cynon (edited 01-01-2002 @ 07:04 PM).]

posted 01-06-02 01:31 PM EDT (US)     18 / 54  
If I were you, I would ALWAYS place dominate on your leader.

I squee'd like a fangirl when the Frostlings were announced for AoW3. True story.
posted 01-07-02 10:46 AM EDT (US)     19 / 54  
I agree that dominate is useful. The only abilities that rival it are lightning/cold strike and regeneration.

Lord Dragatus, 30th member of BTOOIC, The One Who Killed the Cow.
posted 01-30-02 02:39 PM EDT (US)     20 / 54  
When I first played AoW, I got death protection for my hero cos I thought it would help prevent my hero from dying.


[This message has been edited by Sir Crashalot (edited 03-29-2002 @ 01:24 PM).]

posted 02-09-02 11:40 PM EDT (US)     21 / 54  
Dominate is almost too good. In a single player game I don't take it because it ruins the game for me. I just started the cult campaign, which surprisingly I have never done. I took lifestealing and lightning strike for my leader. I set the difficulty to hard, but my hero seems unstoppable and I rolled through the first 4 scenarios in a couple hours.

On your first level up you need to take wall climbing and a defense. On your second level up take one defense and parry. On your next level up take 2 defense. Now you at least have a durable leader. From here its not so clear cut, depending on the map, and what items are available, or if your playing a campaign, your choices would be more attack (or leadership), a range attack, hit points, or save for spellcasting 2.

Generally, you are better off waiting on spellcasting 2 until after your hero can clear out an 8 stack of level one units singlehanded. In the campaign, I would place more emphasis on spellcasting since your rate of level ups is limited anyway and spellcasting 5 in the later scenarios really helps you summon the big nasties quick enough to make it worthwhile.

To the intial question, if you have 10 attack and 10 defense but low resistance and damage what do you do. You are going to need some kind of range attack or you have to run from dragons. If you take archery its not so big a deal, but with poison darts, you need at least mark 2. After you have a range attack, you can choose between spellcasting 2 or adding hit points to about 14. After that I would boost resistance to 8. For me, I almost never boost damage. It seems like you can always find an item to boost you there and enchant weapon and dark gift can boost you too.

[This message has been edited by Frogman (edited 02-09-2002 @ 11:50 PM).]

posted 02-10-02 00:03 AM EDT (US)     22 / 54  
Dominate can actually be a hinderance if you're in a PBEM game with lots of human opponents. You'll be engaged in a lot of FC, and a hero with dominate in FC will amost ALWAYS try to dominate a strong unit, which sometimes doen't work several times in a row, insteead employing a more damaging/effective attack.
posted 02-10-02 00:19 AM EDT (US)     23 / 54  
I don't know about that Draco. You and I were quick to take it in the Gates game. I figure you can dominate a hero, and lairs are great sources of strong units. Sure in an FC situation, they might not be as effective as they could be, then again, they might just dominate that strong unit. Without a doubt, dominate is the most unbalancing skill in the game next to fly rings.
posted 03-20-02 09:23 AM EDT (US)     24 / 54  
I've had a search round for advice on maximum stats, but I can't find what I want, so I'll post the question in here.

Is it the case that spells can take the stats over 10? For example, if you cast stone skin when your hero already has a true 10 def, will the stats show 10 but effectively be 12? I think so.

But what about items? Can these take stats over 10?

posted 03-20-02 10:23 AM EDT (US)     25 / 54  
Check out this thread, and check the link within that thread, and the link within the other, and see if everything Kris wrote doesn't make your head spin...

I think the short answer to your question, though, is that Stone Skin doesn't help once your defense is 10 (unless maybe you are poisoned, have bad morale, or are under some other deleterious effect, and definitely if you use Fury/blood shrine). This is why I rarely raise defense past 8, and often not past 7. With items and spells available to raise defense you don't really need to.

If I understand what Kris said correctly (was it in one of these threads or elsewhere?) Charge, Dragonslaying, and Holy/Unholy Champion can have the (temporary) effect of raising your damage past 10, and Parry can have the temporary effect of raising your defense past 10.

[This message has been edited by Xenobea (edited 03-20-2002 @ 10:26 AM).]

posted 03-21-02 04:35 AM EDT (US)     26 / 54  
Hmmm. Head duly spinning. Thanks for that pointer! But I think there is nothing conclusive in all that apart from the max dam thing, but there's every chance I've missed something. One of the threads actually ends with a question posed about attack exceeding 10. So I think my questions remain unanswered.
posted 03-25-02 00:31 AM EDT (US)     27 / 54  

Quoted from Frogman:

I don't know about that Draco. You and I were quick to take it in the Gates game. I figure you can dominate a hero, and lairs are great sources of strong units.

Yes, but I took Dominate on "Gates of Aldorra" specifically because I knew there were good heroes to be had in that map, thinking I could send them into battle.

But I said, "could" be a hinderance. I still love it as a power.

posted 03-25-02 04:04 AM EDT (US)     28 / 54  
Unicorn - i dont think attack can raise above 10 as damage could! Anyway I usually end up with my hero actually having more then 10 - just in case he looses some stats due to poison or holy damage etc....
posted 09-30-02 04:27 PM EDT (US)     29 / 54  
I wonder what the possibility is that ANYONE reading this will have less experience than myself?

But in any case, I finally have enough games under my belt to have my own opinion, for what its worth.

in the beginning, I always always ALWAYS took regeneration. Now I make sure that I have the Healing Water spell and pump up my hitpoints.

Now that I understand the mechanics of combat better, I place a greater emphasis on getting my health up to 15 or so right away.
So for my first few promotions kick up attack and hp

On my initial customization I choose Dominate and Parry and if I have enough points to work with I'll take Lightening Strike. I actually prefer cold strike but not only do fewer units (I believe) have lightening protection, but you have a higher percentage chance of stunning as opposed to freezing.

Dominate has a hidden attack value that compares to resistance, but since its a touch attack you need your leader to have a high attack value. The fact that its a touch attack also works to balance the scales because when you have to walk right up to an Orc Warlord or a Goblin Troll, you always take a chance that they'll whack you a couple of good ones

I like to get my spellcasting up to V but, despite my initial scepticism, its much easier to pump up spellcasting after you get your melee skills to the point that you can smack down all the level one units that run up to you


posted 10-01-02 04:01 PM EDT (US)     30 / 54  
Dominate is an excellent skill to take for a single-player game, but avoid it if you're doing a MP game or PBEM game, b/c your hero will spend all its time tring to dominate the other units instead of attacking when you engage in FC with your human opponents.

BTW, welcome to Heaven Chazz Da Mighty! Check out our Strategy section for good tips and info.

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