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Topic Summary

Posted by: Silencer 150
« on: April 11, 2009, 01:58:06 AM »

Okay, I FINALLY managed to beat the final battle on Insane difficulty.  Here was my strategy.  First, my party consisted of:

Me - Anti-Paladin, wielding the Soul Reaver +6 and a normal 2H sword (you'll see why)
Korgan - Wielded the Crom Faeyr, Axe of Unyielding, and Flail of Ages
Valen - I turned her into a vamp/werewolf with her UAI ability
Sarevok - Wielded Gram and Ravager
Viconia - Memorized 5x Harm, several Fallen Devas and Energy Blades
Edwin - Memorized multiple Improved Haste, Project Image, Fallen Planetars, IA, Wish, 4x Chain Contingency, and 12 Abi-Dalzim's.

The one item I abused the hell out of was the Gargoyle Boots, using the recharge trick to put Stoneskin on everyone just in case Mel cast Time Stop and attacked them, but it turns out I didn't need to in the end.  Also, your warriors will need to be able to use Hardiness multiple times.  Do not pass this skill up!

The opening battle with Irenicus was actually quite easy.  Obviously I got Bodhi on my side.  While my party beat up the Fallen Solars (I chose not to kill Imoen) my Anti-Paladin attacked Irenicus and his images with the normal 2H sword.  The reason for this is that it gets past Protection from Magical Weapons and I still dispel everything else on a hit.  (Note that this strategy works on mages throughout the game if you're either an Anti-Paladin or Wizard Slayer.)  I kind of had Edwin run and hide for the time being.  Once the real Irenicus went down, Imoen returned to normal, said her piece, and left.

Saved the game.

I did the pools in a clockwise order, starting with the upper right.  It doesn't really matter which one you start with, and the battles are all incredibly easy (for Ascension that is).  If you need to Breach the mariliths, use your Wands of Spell Striking.  Right before I drained the lower left pool, I saved and had Edwin use Project Image and Wish to see if I could get it to Rest everyone.  Unfortunately, because of the bug with Edwin's amulet, the image couldn't summon the planetars because I'd placed those last (like an idiot) so I had Viconia summon her devas, had Edwin summon some Mordies, and also used the Improved Kitthix figurine.  The last bit of preparation I did was to put Stoneskin on everyone and have Valen set 3 Time Traps.

Saved again.

The moment I regained control after the dialogue, Valen's Time Trap went off.  Here it helps to tell her not to attack until you order her to, or she'll go after the most powerful enemy, which you do not want.  I had her hit Illasera 4 times and Balthazar 5 times (the most you can level drain them before they petrify and shatter) and then switch weapons and weaken them to Near Death.  It turns out my plan didn't work so perfectly, because Illasera keeled over on her own for some reason, which drew Mel out.

I had my Anti-Paladin cast True Sight and use his normal 2H sword to hit Sendai, thus removing all her protections and interrupting her Time Stop (very bad if she gets it off, since Mel will slaughter you).  While he was finishing off the helpless Sendai, Viconia cast Harm and attacked Yaga, while Korgan (using the Flail) and the Mordies distracted him.  NEVER send Bodhi up against Yaga, since his Runehammer will kill her in one hit.  Sarevok, Valen, Bodhi, and the devas were busy trying to hit Abazigal, and Edwin was once again stashed some place safe while I used his image to cast spells.  Yaga went down easily once Viconia connected, but then Mel summoned her Fallen Devas with bows.  I had my left battle group take them out.  For some reason Mel dimension doored away, which was a good thing.

Abazigal shattered when Valen (who was using PFMW scrolls) and Bodhi finally drained him.  I was surprised to see now that I was alone with Mel.  This time, instead of summoning those 20 small demons that all have infallible THAC0 (I really hate those) she summoned just five of them for some reason.  Edwin's image kept nuking them with Abi-Dalzim's while I had my warriors pile on, using Hardiness, GWW, and Stoneskin from the boots (just in case).  Viconia healed and tossed blades while my one remaining planetar helped hit Mel.  She never got a chance to cast Time Stop since she was too busy restoring the Divine Mantle that my Anti-Paladin and his Soul Reaver +6 kept dispelling.

I then made one very stupid mistake.  I didn't stop my planetar from casting its spell, because I had no idea what it was up to.  It was trying to cast Meteor Swarm on Mel, and it succeeded at the last second when Mel finally collapsed.

Unfortunately, when the Solar appeared and my party was arranged for the final scene of dialogue, the Meteor Swarm roasted Edwin alive since he was standing in the exact wrong spot.  It was also hitting Sarevok, but he didn't die.  Oh well, I just didn't get to see Edwin's ending.  I'm still upset though, because this is the first time I've beaten the final Ascension battle in such good shape, and then Edwin's own planetar kills him in a random fluke.  >:(
Posted by: Silencer150
« on: March 22, 2009, 10:35:14 PM »

Here was my strategy for Insane difficulty.

The major threat in this battle comes from the right, not the left.  I made the mistake of sticking all my traps on the left where they weren't needed.  Sendai is a frail weakling compared to Tougher Sendai from the Oversight mod, and Yaga-Shura is vulnerable to Harm, Maze, Imprisonment, Nature's Beauty, you name it.  The real threat is Abazigal, so I had everyone and my summons (including the PnP Celestials) pile on him.  Warriors had Hardiness and GWW, main character (rebalanced Shapeshifter) had Righteous Magic + Improved Haste.

Then I made my first major mistake.  I had my main character use Focus while Aerie abused Time Stop.  My intent was to use Harm to weaken Yaga, leave him, and beat up Abazigal, Illasera, and Gromnir.  I accidentally killed Yaga prematurely, drawing Mel out.  No problem, I thought.  I easily finished Abazigal, then Gromnir, then Illasera, and then Sendai stupidly teleported right into my reach, so I took her out too.  Now Mel was alone, and to my surprise, all my party members were still alive and in 100% health WITH buffs still active.

Now I made my second major mistake.  Instead of summoning more fodder, since I didn't know what was coming, I eagerly had everyone jump Mel.  We got her down to 50% health, then she force cast like 20+ Gates.  The demons physically boxed my party in, then Mel cast Time Stop and started kicking my guys' heads off one by one until I had to reload.  DAMNIT!

Oh well, at least I know what to do next time.  And what NOT to do.

For those considering a Sorcerer, I recommend the Geomantic Sorcerer mod.  The GeoSorc misses out on IA and Planetars, but gets a HLA called "Union of Magic" which should allow you to nuke everyone in the final battle with magic.
Posted by: PizzaSHARK!
« on: November 14, 2008, 12:57:56 AM »

As an aside, I didn't lose anyone in the fight, though that kind of flawless execution took many tries to get it right.  Biggest problems were getting summons up fast enough to tie up Yaga-Shura and tanking Abazigal's unreal damage output.

Plan on doing another playthrough with a Sorceror PC, but given how crappy magic was in that fight, I imagine it's gonna be rough.
Posted by: PizzaSHARK!
« on: November 14, 2008, 12:52:24 AM »

I beat it tonight without many problems.  The Bodhi+Irenicus part was laughably easy... Irenicus didn't do jack for damage, and Bodhi got gibbed in the first 10 seconds... a far cry from her Chapter 3/6 selves.

My party consisted of PC - half-orc wizard slayer - Minsc, Jaheira, Sarevok, Imoen, and Valygar.  Valygar was switched to Archer via the lvl1npcs mod back in SoA, and I ended up giving Sarevok Ravager +6 and 5/5 Halberds.  Jaheira was using Sling of Everard +5 and Spectral Brand +5; Minsc had the upgraded Sword of Grief +5; PC largely used Axe of the Unyielding +5 main handed and Defender of Easthaven +3 offhanded, grandmastery for both weapon types.  I chose to resurrect Dynaheir (yay Minsc!)  By this point in the game, the party was about lvl 33-35 (my PC had over 100 Magic Resistance.)

Prior to resurrecting Dynaheir and initiating the final battle, I buffed the party with everything I had; Strength potions, resistance potions, protection scrolls, stat potions (Valygar had 25 DEX from mind-focusing potions and as a result something crazy like -28 thaco... he never, ever misses), invulnerability potions, the whole shebang.  Spell buffs included Haste, Mass Invisibility, Chant, Bless, Defensive Harmony, Resist Fear, and Aura of Flaming Death (for Jaheira.)  Pretty much everyone had ridiculous resistances, unreal saving throws, and spectacular AC - Jaheira had like -21.  I quicksaved just prior to being dragged off to get yelled at, and had Imoen pop a pre-emptive True Sight during the couple of seconds I had before being summoned.
The final fight against the Five was very challenging, and took me a good two or three hours (combined time) of load-reload to get it done right.  I strongly recommend all party members have Boots of Speed or similar movespeed on them - I had five pairs of boots plus Grandmaster's Armor.  I really feel my high mobility is what enabled me to win by getting people away from attackers quickly enough to hide with Invisibility potions or for healing.

I had the most success with a kill order of Balthazar, Abazigal, Illasera, Sendai, Yaga-Shura.  At the start, my warriors all popped Hardiness (in retrospect I should have done it in the few seconds before the summons so my first action of the round could be MR or GWW), while I had Jaheira begin summoning an elemental Prince.  I had Minsc (who was placed on the left side, near Yaga) tie up Yaga long enough for Jaheira to do her summoning.  PC and Sarevok moved in to engage Balthazar and Abazigal, and I had Imoen and Dynaheir chain-Breach both of them to dispel their protections.  Sendai always seemed to Time Stop early on, so I had my PC use his immunity trick right off the bat.  This frequently resulted in me catching Balthazar frozen (Breach counters his Lunar Stance buff) in time, giving me ample opportunity to kick the shit out of him, frequently resulting in his death.  While I consider Abazigal to be the most dangerous of the five, his contengencies prevented me from timegibbing him like Balthazar.  I immediately followed Sendai's Time Stop with Stop-Alacrity combo by Imoen, which I used to debuff the Five; Lower Resistance, Breach, Warding Whip, that sort of thing.  Sometimes my PC would even have enough time left on his protections to get some free hits in on Abazigal.

After the combo ended, I focused entirely on Abazigal, leaving my summons (Sunnis, two greater bearweres, and a Mord Sword) to keep Yaga busy.  Chain Breaching is critical for Abazigal, and everyone tanking him MUST have Hardiness up; I'm pretty sure he's a Kensai/Mage for this fight, because he hits like a truck on crank.  i spent a lot of time dancing my three warriors in and out for potions while fighting him; again, boots of speed ftw.  I used my first Mass Heal ability during the Abazigal fight.  After Abazigal went down, Amelyssan shows up.  I pretty much ignored her and immediately went to work on Illasera, who died very quickly; not much different from the first time, really.

Following this, I went after Sendai; True Sight and Breach made short work of her (again, not much different from the first time I killed her.)  By this point I had to use my second Mass Heal to keep everyone healthy after the Comet Amelyssan used.  After this, I had everyone spread out, with one person (usually my PC since he had 85% physical resistance with Hardiness) tanking Amelyssan away from the group while everyone else piled onto Yaga-Shura.  Bastard took a while to put down.

Predictably, everyone went after Amelyssan afterwards.  I did run out of Breach spells, so during the Absolute Immunity moments I pretty much had everyone stand around while my PC took the hits and Sarevok (whose +6 weapon can go through Absolute Immunity) tank her.  She died after about three repetitions of this.

Oh, and Irenicus was immune to your True Sight because he popped Spell Immunity: Divination prior to using his images.
Posted by: the bigg
« on: September 17, 2008, 03:48:14 PM »

The only part of the battle I found near-impossible was the final stage. Who thought that would be a good idea? As far as I know, there is no "legit" way to win, the secret is lost to Weimer the Ultimate Powergamer. I managed to crush Mel n' the Five with the project image/chain contigency cheese, although I might as well have just ctrl-y'd everyone.
It's a well-known bug that Yaga's damage resistances don't drop. SCSII fixes this, otherwise you can:
- C6 Harm him + deal the last hit point of damage
- level drain him (Bodhi, W9 Black Blade of Disaster, Gram the Sword of Grief, Blackrazor)
- deal 380 damage otherwise (flail of ages deals exactly 6 per hit, magic missile deals 5, etc).
Posted by: Necroguest
« on: September 17, 2008, 03:37:38 PM »

This stage of the battle is incredibly easy (well, for a sorcerer).

Timestop. Improved alacricity. Split tanks between far right planetar and Irencius. Cast imprisonment on Bodhi. Cast warding whip on Irenicus. Spam 2 lower resistances and 1 greater mael. Timestop again, before the first one ends. Kill the planars. When the game resumes, either you or support mage cast breach on Irenicus if Minsc/some other tank hasn't already gibbed him with a vorpal sword or something.

This all happens in about thirty seconds.

The only part of the battle I found near-impossible was the final stage. Who thought that would be a good idea? As far as I know, there is no "legit" way to win, the secret is lost to Weimer the Ultimate Powergamer. I managed to crush Mel n' the Five with the project image/chain contigency cheese, although I might as well have just ctrl-y'd everyone.

Posted by: Azazello
« on: June 23, 2006, 10:18:46 PM »

Spoilers be here and here.
Posted by: Zyraen
« on: June 23, 2006, 09:37:00 PM »

I'm not sure but I hear Insta-Kill weapons (like Silver Sword, Ravager, etc) work well especially with GWW.

Ascension Final Battle is not for me though. I basically play it for the RP value and Ctrl-Y through the last battle.
Posted by: EvilIguana966
« on: June 23, 2006, 09:31:17 PM »

Can't find any solution to the battle with Irenicus/Bhodi.  Bhodi isn't too bad, but Irenicus casts far too many protections that cannot be removed.  Worse are his multiple projected images and simulacrums that cannot be dispelled via true sight.  And of course the only way humanly possible to keep Imoen alive is to Maze her, but to do that she needs her magic resist debuffed.  If she is not mazed she will die from attacking people with damage shields on or just from being directly attacked by one of Irenicus' undispellable clones.  After a certain point the fallen solar, who has more HPs than God and runs faster too, makes a beeline for the protagonist and instagibs him.  Balthazar helps a little, but he can do nothing to counter any of the major problems, namely essentially invulnerable npcs.

I seem to recall reading in the readme that enemies were supposed to play more fairly but use their available tools more effectively.  That was clearly a lie.  I have no idea how people have managed to actually beat this encounter.  The only thing I can think of is that there is some single rigidly coded but totally unintuitive solution that makes things doable.  I guess the only way to beat it is to play it over and over about 100 times trying slightly different permutations of strategy until the solution makes itself obvious.

By the way, I know this is a mod, but the Imoen thing has to be one of the single worst game design decisions ever made.  Theres no way to know going into the hardest battle in the game that you are going to not only lose a key party member, but have her turn against you.  If the same thing happened to every party then I'd consider it reasonable, but punishing people for what is otherwise a mostly roleplaying based decision about party makeup is ludicrous. 

FYI, party makeup is as follows: Me (sorceror), Keldorn, Minsc, Jaheira, Viconia, Imoen.  I decided to try this mod because I was mopping up enemies far too easily for my own tastes (I basically soloed draconis with my protagonist sorc), but found simply bumping up the difficulty to hard to do little more than make victory more based on luck.  I was impressed by the improved Abazigal battle.  Took me a  few tries but I managed it and it felt good to defeat a truly epic challenge.  It's really a shame that I'll probably end up uninstalling it so soon due to the poorly thought out end battles.