Author Topic: A sort of walkthrough  (Read 9108 times)

Althernai

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A sort of walkthrough
« on: November 22, 2002, 05:49:41 PM »
This is how I defeated Ascension -- if somebody knows an easier (or less cheesy) way, please tell me.

MASSIVE ASCENSION SPOILERS BELOW!!!

If you are allegic to cheese such as use of pre-knowledge, Abuse of Illusions, Multiple Planetars or Shapechange Mind Flayer, do not read. :)

Preparations before battle:

You should have Stoneskin, Improved Haste and a Chain Contingency: On Hit: Self: Prot. from Magic Weapons + two other spells cast beofre battle. Don't bother with any form of Invisibility - literally every enemy you will face except one sees through it and it is quickly dispelled in any case. Cast Project Image -] Improved Alacrity -] 5x Summon Planetar + Improved Haste on each one. Destroy the Image, cast it again and repeat. Massive cheese -- but if Mel gets to summon demons, it's only fair that I have a few celestials around. I would go so far as to claim that it is impossible to win this fight with a Solo Sorc without using multiple planetars (if you think you can do it, please tell me how).

Now, cast Simulcarum. Have your Simulcarum cast Simulcarum. Have Simulcarum1 cast Shapechange while Simulcarum2 casts True Sight. Note that Simulcarum 2 is pretty useless because he doesn't have any items (i.e. no Robe of Vecna, Amulet of Power or Boots of Speed). Summon 2 Mordies with any of the casters at hand. Haste the Simulcarums.

Position the Planetars where Sarevok, Yaga-Shura and Sendai appear. Warning: do not put them too close to where Sendai shows up - you don't want them to kill her too quickly. Position the Mordies where Abazigal, Illasera and Gromnir start off. Touch the pool (which didn't rest me for some reason - bah!) and put everyone else in the center, but with the simulcarums out of Mel's sweep. Have Simulcarum2 summon another Planetar - just so that you aren't left without any if things don't go quite as planned.

The Enemies:

You probably already know this, but I wish to highlight some of the aspects relevant to a Solo Sorc.

Illasera: She is supposedly the weakest of the Bhaalspawn - not very different from what you meet in the beginning of ToB. Don't be fooled. Her arrows both Dispel your magic and cast Miscast Magic on you - if she hits you and you don't have a Prot. from Magic Weapons (either active or Contingencied) - you are probably going to die. Her other trick is Ethereal - I must say, this works a lot better for her than it does for Imoen. She can become completely invincible for a couple of round and tends to stack this with Hardiness for 90% damage immunity thereafter. It might expire during Time Stop though... Illasera is immune to Intellect drain.

Gromnir: Nothing special here - he slows whatever he hits, but otherwise is not remarkable in any way. In fact, he is not even immune to Int drain - and has less than 10 Int.

Abazigal: He goes through anything at enormous speeds. A planetar dies in under a round if he is using Improved Haste. To make things even more fun, he starts off with a slew of buffs that include (but are not limited to) Prot. from Fire, Magic Energy, Magic Weapons, SI: Abjuration and Improved Haste. Immune to Int drain (I think - can't quite recall a time when I cast Time Stop and he wasn't protected from Magic Weapons).

Yaga-Shura: Immune to Int drain, and 99% resistant to every form of damage except Magic Cold. This is supposed to go down during the fight, but I have never done more than 1 damage to him at a time (see below).

Sendai: Don't let her cast Time Stop. On the other hand, don't let her die first - she is relatively easy to kill with planetars.

Sarevok: The most pitiful enemy I have ever faced. He literally cannot hurt you or anything else that is on the field. Nor is he immune to Int drain. Kill him at your leisure.

Melissan: Immune to Time Stop, Magic Damage and +3 weapons. Not immune to fire. Has an annoying tendency to gate in assorted vermin. More later.

Assorted Vermin: This should be divided into two categories: Fallen Solars and everything else. Everything else falls fairly quickly to planetars. Fallen Solars are immune to +3 weapons and I have almost no way to hurt them - to kill one would involve a Time Stop followed by Lower Resistance and spells of mass destruction, but I cannot afford this when Mel is on the field. Fortunately, she doesn't seem to summon them when most of her servants are dead.

The battle:

Mel shows up, summons the Five (minus Balthazar who is on my side, Gromnir is there in his place) and then calls Sarevok. Were I not soloing, I could have avoided this by taking him into the party before and talking some sense into him - but as it is, he is my enemy regardless of what I say. As soon as Mel leaves and you have control, Have Simulcarum1 begin casting Time Stop. You yourself cast Project Image who then proceeds to use Focus. Hopefully, the Time Stop should go off before anything happens.

The purpose of this Time Stop is to eliminate the right hand side (Illasera, Gromnir and Abazigal). Have both illusions cast Improved Alacrity. Now comes the tricky part: while the Image is throwing Horrid Wiltings in the general direction of Illasera and Abazigal, have the Image run up to Abazigal and cast 4x Pierce Magic on him. Then, stand a little further and cast Breach. Summon a Wizard Eye to see Illasera better. If she is Ethereal, never mind, focus on Abazigal. When you feel your Time Stop is about to end, cast Time Stop again (with the Simulcarum of course) and Improved Alacrity again. Now, give Abazigal everything you've got: while the Image runs off to cast Imprisonment on Yaga-Shura (he may lose Focus eventually, cast it off a scroll to be sure you'll get it off), the Simulcarum unloads 6x Scull Trap and 3x Sunfire between Illasera and Abazigal. Illasera should come out of Ethereal - once she does, run up to her and cast 3x Lower Resistance. Then, cast 6x Melf's Acid Arrows and 6x Magic Missiles on Abazigal (this should all be during the same Improved Alacrity as these spells have 0 casting time with the Robe and Amulet). When you are done, Shapechange into Mind Flayer and kill Gromnir. NOTE: this will end your Time Stop prematurely - after a second or two, Mel shows up and the Time Stop simply ends - this is why it's important not to kill Sendai too soon.

When the Time Stop ends, ideally Illasera and Abzigal should die - this did not happen with me, but tossing one last Scull Trap (by the Image) between them miraculously killed them both (the straw that broke the camel's back...). This was also good because it knocked Mel down due to feedback. Sendai died very shortly afterwards - with her Prot from Magic Weapons expired, the planetars got her to Near Death, she teleported away but one kick from Balthazar put her out of her misery. Sarevok was also quickly dispatched by the now-unoccupied planetars (rest in peace). At this point, Melissan gives her "Nearly mortal" speech and it looks like you have won, right?

Wrong. First, she casts Freedom releasing Yaga-Shura and I could not interrupt her. I Imprisoned him again - she cast Freedom again. She had cast Gate the round before so my planetars were distracted. The Simulcarums had long since expired and the project image was killed when Mel damaged me somehow, so I cast a new Simulcarum and summoned some more Planetars (all but the lonely last one were gone). The planetars took care of the assorted vermin -- thank goodness she didn't summon fallen solars. Yaga-Shura refuse to die -- usually his resistances go down, but either this is because I was playing on Insane or this is a bug, they stayed put. The planetars whacked at him and my Illusions used Improved Alacrity -] 6x Magic Missile (this does exactly 30 damage to him) until he finally died. Balthazar, some of the other planetars and an Image I conjured up kept Mel busy. She kept summoning stuff, but each time it was a little weaker than before. Finally, it was just Mel against everyone else - but she is quite difficult to hurt. I used the planetar's Insect Plague, Pierce Shield off of an Illusion followed by Flamestrike or the like until she finally got down to Near Death. This took quite a long time - she managed to cast Time Stop (through the Insect Plague!) and killed off some Planetars. My Illusions expired and I cast new ones - finally, when she was near death I had a Simulcarum cast Improved Alacrity -] 5x Dragon's Breath, obliterating her last HP.                    

Kish

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2002, 06:10:08 PM »
Quote
Touch the pool (which didn't rest me for some reason - bah!)
Because you were playing on Insane.                    

KaPe

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2002, 06:28:57 AM »
Are you sure this was insane/hard? I couldn't cast Time Stop on hard, because Mel appeared before it was done, and so I couldn't kill abazigal&iliasera with it... And sendai casting her own time stop forced me to use focus, unless I could face her, balthazar(i wasn't soloing) and Mel at once... :blink: Not a single  time stop during entire battle... Without focus it'd be a suicide  :unsure:  ( I forgot to cast it once... after killing the Five with 3 chars and ~10 tries... it was... "unpleasant")                    

Althernai

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2002, 02:25:58 PM »
Quote
Are you sure this was insane/hard? I couldn't cast Time Stop on hard, because Mel appeared before it was done, and so I couldn't kill abazigal&iliasera with it... And sendai casting her own time stop forced me to use focus, unless I could face her, balthazar(i wasn't soloing) and Mel at once... :blink: Not a single  time stop during entire battle... Without focus it'd be a suicide  :unsure:  ( I forgot to cast it once... after killing the Five with 3 chars and ~10 tries... it was... "unpleasant")
                   This was definitely on Insane. You can cast Time Stop without Mel showing up - it's just that whenever you actually kill someone, she jumps out and interrupts your Time Stop. Once Mel is on the field, using Time Stop is extremely dangerous - but as long as she isn't there, it works.                    

KaPe

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2002, 05:50:30 AM »
I don't get it... I was playing on hard, and Mel appeared right after start... One or two second after her speech, interrupting TS if I managed to cast it somehow(nearly impossible)... So, either I had bug, or insane is easier than hard :unsure: It was pretty tough to kill her + entire Five w/o allies, w/o time stop...                    

Althernai

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2002, 10:57:36 AM »
This is a bug - Mel is not supposed to appear under any circumstances except "x number of the 5 being dead."  The number x varies with difficulty, but it is never zero so she should not have done that, Time Stop or no Time Stop.                    

Cuv

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2002, 05:20:28 AM »
Quote
I would go so far as to claim that it is impossible to win this fight with a Solo Sorc without using multiple planetars (if you think you can do it, please tell me how).
                   Demons... control a demon army.    You dont really need an army of planetars... one or two will do at the right time after Mel shows up... but I never needed more than one Planetar.

What you suggested is heavy cheese... but thats okay.   What I suggest is actually more fun, but outright cheating (or pure cheese if you go the legit way by actually controlling the first bunch).  I know that Mel will take alot of them away from you... but you can minimize that by keeping them coming.   Go to the second pool and Ctrl+Q the 2 Nabassu there,  use up all their Gate spells(3 each), then kill the original two as they are useless now.  Grab your power to control demons.    Each of the new demons summoned in are totally loyal to you.   With luck,  you got at least one more Nabassu... use its Gate spells.    Your army is building...keep them safe.  dont use them at the pools.

Move to the first pool and try to control the Nabassu there... if you get it,  move it quickly off the pad out of danger.  Try for the Balor next... although I usually fail, but sometimes get it too.  move it away while you kill the remaining demons.    Use all their gates.    You should have an army of demons around 15-20 by now.   Any new Nabassu... use their gates, but dont kill the second gen hosts.   If you got Marileths and Balors too... then great.   Dont throw away the Cambion Archers.... they will help immensely with Abazigal and Sendai later... and Mel.

Last pool... same thing.    but dont take the final power until you have exhausted all your gates.   Move them all onto the platform at the top... if possible,  then take your power.   The cutscene will start and you will be moved to the bottom of the screen... but not the demons:D    Once the fighting starts,  they will slowly migrate down and attack Abazigal, Gromnir and Yaga from behind... so all you have to concentrate on is Illasera and Sendai.

With this method I can usually get rid of two or sometimes three of the Five at the same time... making things much easier when Mel shows up.   She will appear when the first of the five falls at Insane... but if you have twenty to thirty demons pounding on Abazigal, Gromnir and Yaga Shura at the same time.... you might get lucky and they might all fall simultaneously.

When Mel shows up she will use her Control the Minions of the Abyss... and generally takes away 50-70% of my army... so what?   You've already taken out Abazigal, Sendai, Gromnir and hopefully Illasera... Just Yaga and Mel to deal with.   Then use whatever method works best for you.. fighting demons taken away from you is nothing compared to fighting Mel at this point... they are easy.. and you can even take them back from her.   Also,  look for any Nabassu she gates in to control... and use their three gate spells quickly.

Last time I tried it I had 20 Cambion Archers doing heavy damage the Mel from the sidelines while I removed her protections, while my Marileths, Nabassu and Balors were taking care of her summons.    I was playing a Fighter/Mage though... but it should be possible with a sorcerer too.    Maybe a combination of demons and planetars would make this fight exceedingly easy on Insane... I dont know.

Cuv                      

Althernai

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2002, 11:57:52 AM »
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When Mel shows up she will use her Control the Minions of the Abyss... and generally takes away 50-70% of my army... so what? You've already taken out Abazigal, Sendai, Gromnir and hopefully Illasera... Just Yaga and Mel to deal with

I am extremely wary of using the Control Demon ability in the actual fight - it seems to take a relatively long time and sometimes fails anyway. Using it generally results in me being torn to shreds by the demon's friends.

I don't need the Planetars (or Demons) to take out Abazigal, Illasera or Gromnir - those 3 die because of the Time Stop. The time I need fighting power most would be exactly the time Mel turns at least 50% of them against me.

The problem is with Yaga-Shura and with Mel herself. Yaga-Shura seems to be completely invincible to everything (I wish I had Cone of Cold...) - I need the Planetars to keep Mel busy while some of the others just whack him and I magic missile him to death.

Then there is Mel - you would have no problem with her when using a fighter/mage, but with a Sorcerer, the only permanent melee power I have is Balthazar - and he is not quite enough.

I suppose this might work - but I don't see how an army of Demons is less cheesy than an army of Planetars.                    

Assassin

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2002, 04:42:25 PM »
Quote
Quote
When Mel shows up she will use her Control the Minions of the Abyss... and generally takes away 50-70% of my army... so what? You've already taken out Abazigal, Sendai, Gromnir and hopefully Illasera... Just Yaga and Mel to deal with

I am extremely wary of using the Control Demon ability in the actual fight - it seems to take a relatively long time and sometimes fails anyway. Using it generally results in me being torn to shreds by the demon's friends.

I don't need the Planetars (or Demons) to take out Abazigal, Illasera or Gromnir - those 3 die because of the Time Stop. The time I need fighting power most would be exactly the time Mel turns at least 50% of them against me.

The problem is with Yaga-Shura and with Mel herself. Yaga-Shura seems to be completely invincible to everything (I wish I had Cone of Cold...) - I need the Planetars to keep Mel busy while some of the others just whack him and I magic missile him to death.

Then there is Mel - you would have no problem with her when using a fighter/mage, but with a Sorcerer, the only permanent melee power I have is Balthazar - and he is not quite enough.

I suppose this might work - but I don't see how an army of Demons is less cheesy than an army of Planetars.
                   Erm... Why not just use Wands?  There's a Wand of Frost, IIRC...

Actually, I'd be fine with the army of demons, but the only problem is, the way that you describe it involves CTRL Q'ing the first 2.  CTRL Q is something I would never do...

I still like the combination of Planetars and Demons... :)                    

Althernai

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2002, 05:38:27 PM »
Quote
Erm... Why not just use Wands?  There's a Wand of Frost, IIRC...
                   Not fast enough and not powerful enough. He has 50% resistace to magic cold and 99% resistance to everything else. With Cone of Cold, the idea is this: Project Image -] Improved Alacrity -] 6x Cone of Cold. That's 6*(20d4+20)/2= 60d4+60 damage. Not enough to kill him outright, but if repeated, it may work.

A Wand of Frost is cast at a fixed level and you cannot combine Wands with Improved Alacrity. Would do something like 5d4+5 damage to him in 1 round - certainly not the best use of your time.                    

Cuv

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2002, 04:35:04 PM »
While I have'nt played much of the WeiDU version of Ascension.... I am well versed in the original... so I dont know if anything was changed.    Yaga Shura can be taken care of nicely IF Sendai is gone:   Blindness:D   If Sendai is still present, she will remove the blindness.

LOL.. I never said it was less cheesy....hehe.   The demons are just used so that you can concentrate on Mel herself.   Balthazar will remove some of her protections,  and you can too.    Hehe... her time stops become useless if you have the Focus ability and Balthazar uses his Lunar Stance.   I can appreciate why you use planetars.   Try both planetars and Demons... but build your army first.   You are right,  it takes alot of time to control her demons and not the best strategy for a solo sorcerer... best to go in with a massive army to begin with.

Cuv                    

Althernai

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2002, 05:14:59 PM »
Here is the thing, according to Weimer:

Quote
The last time I had difficulty with Ascension was when every party member was a Fighter/Druid ... for some reason, the game designers made all of the uber-bosses immune to Nature's Beauty.

I assumed he means Blindness in general. I did not even try Blindness - I thought they are all immune.  In general, I take the "bosses" to be immune to most interesting things (Spell Failure, Blindness, Fear, Charm, Chaos...).

However, I think Weimer tried to be as faithful as possible to the original so I assume if Blindness worked for you then, it should still work now. Will verify this in my next game.

Next time I play, I'll see what controlling her demons does -- I didn't even consider it because it doesn't seem like something my character would do. It seems to be as evil as the easiest way to kill her in the end -- Improved Haste + Ravager Change, but I am playing a Neutral Good character who refuses to use the darker aspects of his taint. Planetars are cheesy from a game mechanics point of view, but they are not evil.                    

Cuv

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2002, 11:32:17 PM »
Okay,  let us know.  Blindness worked on Yaga Shura... it was intentionally left into the original version.   This was to give Sendai something interesting to do... by curing him.   But if she isnt around to cure him, he will stumble around and call for healing... and be a sitting duck for several rounds.  You can also Imprison any of them, but Sendai has a Freedom memorized, and Abazigal has a scroll... also, Mel can cast Freedom.    I used to use Imprisonment of Yaga just to get Sendai to cast Freedom... since you will do it from memory rather than a force spell.. thereby taking up some of her time in casting... and I'd spank her then while she was vulnerable:D                    

Hatred

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2003, 11:32:26 AM »
How do you get an army of Planetars? I get told that I can only summon 1 at a time?!  

Kish

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2003, 12:14:14 PM »
Your party members can only summon one at a time.

Projected Images of your party members can summon many more planetars.

Crovax

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A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2004, 10:51:13 AM »
Hmm, can simulacrums cast lvl9 spells like improved alacrity?

Any way: you can deal with yaga shura quite easy. I had my kensai/mage make a spell trigger=>2x greater malison 1xhold monster
most of the times he fails his save.
Later on in the fight only abazigal and mel were on their feet and yaga shura was standing there frozen solid. I was dispatching abazigal when he unfroze. I made a new trigger with my kensai/mage (made the first one before disabling the essence pool thing so i needed only one spell slot) and froze him again so i could focus on mel.

Offline jcompton

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Re: A sort of walkthrough
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2004, 10:19:10 PM »

maidros     
Posted: May 12 2004, 09:52 AM



QUOTE

Yaga-Shura: Immune to Int drain, and 99% resistant to every form of damage except Magic Cold. This is supposed to go down during the fight, but I have never done more than 1 damage to him at a time (see below)


Yaga Shura is NOT immune to poison. In fact he has zero resistance against poison. If you have the lovely ability 'Dark Taint' from the evil Bhaalspawn abilities- that is the name as far as I can remember - you can poison him to death very quickly with a fighter type character - try turning into a iron golem or a greater wolfwere and then use the ability. It can poison him to death during a time stop.
Regards,
Maidros
Cespenar says, "Kelsey and friends be at the Pocket Plane? Ohhh yesssss!" http://www.pocketplane.net

 

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