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  #1  
Old November 14th, 2006, 01:19 AM

Epaminondas Epaminondas is offline
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Default Various Newbie Gameplay Questions

Hi, I am a Dominions III newbie who is still stuck playing with the Demo for a few weeks until I get a new computer. As such, I unsurprisingly have many questions. While most of these questions can be answered with the purchase of the game and its apparently exhaustive manual, I am one of those people who look at the concept of delayed gratification with horror

So I am wondering if kind souls here can explain a few perplexing game mechanic issues for me:

1. The efficacy of MR:

What does MR exactly do? Does it reduce the chance of a spell landing or does it reduce the damage that the spell landed do--or both?

And give me some concrete number analysis here. if possible.

For instance, I had the Arcos hero Pathos all decked out and he was a veritable killing machine with his Heroic Quickness and his otherwordly (literally!) equipment (he had all the Solaris equipment, except the shield, where I preferred to let him have the Charcoal Shield; he was also level 3 air mage to get him to cast Mistform.). Then some mofo Mind Blasted him for 16 damage, and there was no more Pathos.

You can imagine my howls of frustration. This guy was taking out units faster than Bruce Lee in "The Chinese Connection." And something seems to be not right, when a unit this powerful will die by a lucky nuke that isn't even a high level nuke. (I suppose I will go nuts if my Unequaled Obesity-ed Niefel Jarl dies from a Soul Slay).

Anyways, to bring up my question: So I think Pathos had 24 MR at the time of his death due to items and spells. I thought that was pretty nice, an almost impregnable MR. So with a 24 MR, what were the chances of his resisting a Mind Blast? And what would his normal damage with that MR been? Did I just get really unlucky? Or are Astral Thamaturgy nukes that nasty?

I guess I need some statistical or mathematical analysis here--of course, comprehensible for laymen.

2. Magic Duel:

I have never seen Magic Duel happen yet in any of my battles, and there have been many. So what triggers it? Obviously the pre-requisite is the presence of two Astral mages next to each other. But do both them need to have it scripted or is having one Astral mage scripting it sufficient?

And how long do these duels last? One round of combat? Moreover, does someone always die?

Finally, what kind of Astral magic gap do you need to ensure you will win? Is there a table that says, for instance, an Astral mage has a 75 percent chance to win in a Magic Duel with an Astral Mage who is 2 levels lower than him?

Again, some kind of concrete numbers analysis would be helpful.

3. Early protective buffs compared: Mirror Image, Mistform, and Ethereal:

I'd like my main thugs to go Air magic and/or Astral magic (if I am not likely going to face Astral mages) to get them some protective buffs. So which among the lower level magic protective buffs I listed is best?

And I still don't understand how Ethereal units are damaged other than through magic or magic weapons. Obviously, I've seen Ethereal units get damaged by conventional weapons. So is it simply a percentage thing? Or is it when an exceptionally hard hit occurs, a la Mistform?

4. The Chainmail of Displacement:

I don't understand its effect. Is it a mirror image effect?

5. Mount attacks:

Some cavalry have extra, non-rider attacks, such as hoof or bite. Do these attacks occur throughout the cavalry unit's melee engagement or does it occur only after the unit charges and makes the first impact?

6. This isn't a game mechanics questions but: In late game, would you use your gems for the Ether Lord and his warriors or the Archangel and his host? If I remember correctly, they are both Astral gem summons. And could you give me the rationale for your choice?

Thanks, I will add more questions here if I remember them. I thought consolidating everything on this thread would be more polite than creating multiple threads on different questions.
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  #2  
Old November 14th, 2006, 01:54 AM

Ironhawk Ironhawk is offline
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Default Re: Various Newbie Gameplay Questions

1. 24mr is quite high. Are you sure it was 24? Thats really, really high. But, as with the Protection stat, nothing makes you invinicible to an attack. You were probably just unlucky. When facing astral/mind attacks it is best to bring along lots of non-mindless chaff units to prevent your key units from being killed.

2. Magic Duel must be scripted and there must be an enemy astral mage to cast it at. It resolves instantly and one of the two mages will die (or very rarely both).

3. Tricky point. Ethereal is the best, but in order to cast ethereal, you must have Astral magic, which in turn makes you vulnerable to mind duels. This is generally considered Really Bad, as your pimped-out SC could be killed by a lucky 100gp astral mage. So, if you take that into account Mistform is probably best.

4. Not sure. Could just be defense. Easy to test it out tho just put it on a commander and send him into combat. If he has mirror images then you know.

5. Lance attacks are the only attacks that are first-hit only. All other attacks happen every round of combat.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:46 AM

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Default Re: Various Newbie Gameplay Questions

I find that Earth/Air or just plain Air is better than Astral. Sometimes mages get dumb and cast Body Ethereal on troops instead of themselves, as well as other buffs that may apply. Plus, casting a bunch of buffs adds up fatigue quickly. You can forge a Robe of Shadows and a Lucky Pendant, which pretty much covers what Astral buff-wise, for few gems by most Astral mages and cast spells like Mist Form, Invunerability, Mirror Image, etc. that are much better and much more difficult to replicate through items.

Of course, Air and Earth on the same mage are pretty tough to come by, but Air alone is a great SC/Thug path IMO, hard to beat.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:46 AM
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Default Re: Various Newbie Gameplay Questions

Casting body ethereal on troops is an AWESOME buff!!
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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:58 AM

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Default Re: Various Newbie Gameplay Questions

Well, yeah, but you don't want your SC doing that.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: Various Newbie Gameplay Questions

Ethereal units have a 75% chance of escaping completely non-magical weapon attacks. Not bad at all.

It's not TRUE ethereal, of course...
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Old November 14th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: Various Newbie Gameplay Questions

The manual lists some probability numbers. Mind Burn was probably 10 against magic resistance, with (virtual) open ended dice rolls on both sides. With magic resistance 24, the chance of beating it would beabout 1%. The chance to beat mag res 18 would be just 6%.

Units with low hitpoints are pretty easy to kill.

Soul Slay does work against tough guys... but only when massed. A single Soul Slay COULD kill even your pretender, but it won't - well, except when you've almost finished your enemy already and mr Murphy decides to pay you a visit.

Ether Lords and Angelic Choir are both very expensive in pearls. The first one gives you Astral 3/Death 2/Random 1 mage, which can be nice, and giant-sized, ethereal creatures that devastate magic beings. They are good against armies with lots of summoned units (all summoned units aren't magic beings, but the better ones often are). Etherealness and good protection are VERY rare combination, and very effective as well.

Heavenly Choir gives just one commander ATM. If all 13 were commanders, as the manual implies, it'd give insane amount of flying priestly power, and would give you three Air 3 mages in addition to the Seraph. However, at the moment only the Seraph is a commander. He's a 77-hp, Fire 4, Astral 4, Air 4, Holy 4 commander who can fly 7 provinces at once and can destroy armies in melee without any equipment, but 144 pearls is still a steep price for a single commander.

Golems are made used more often than either of those, and Astral gems have many other uses. I presume your question went unanswered this long because most players wouldn't choose between those two spells, having used the gems for something else entirely.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Various Newbie Gameplay Questions

Magic Resistance doesn't work on nearly all spells BTW. It works only against those "Magic resistance negates" spells.

Magic Duel has a great distance so the two Astral mages don't need to be next to each other. It needs to be scripted as far as I know. The Astral Mage with higher Astral most likely wins, but I think that the Dominions Random Number gives a fleetingly small chance that the duel results in a tie which means both mages die. Not sure.

Misform is a very good spell but Ethereal/Lucky combo is hard to beat. I forgot what level Personal Luck is though. You can get Luck easily from Lucky Pendant, a 2 Cons 1 Astral trinket.

Chaimail of Displacement gives just a defence bonus.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Default Re: Various Newbie Gameplay Questions

Quote:
Nerfix said:
Chaimail of Displacement gives just a defence bonus.
Prot 18, defence +3, enc 2 armor... and it used to give Mirror Image ability in DomII. Not sure if if still does, but the manual doesn't mention anything special. The defence bonus is very rare for body armors, I don't think anything else actually increases defence (but some have more powerful defenseive effects, like giving Etherealness or Invlunerability).
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Old November 14th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Various Newbie Gameplay Questions

Quote:
Endoperez said:
Quote:
Nerfix said:
Chaimail of Displacement gives just a defence bonus.
Prot 18, defence +3, enc 2 armor... and it used to give Mirror Image ability in DomII. Not sure if if still does, but the manual doesn't mention anything special. The defence bonus is very rare for body armors, I don't think anything else actually increases defence (but some have more powerful defenseive effects, like giving Etherealness or Invlunerability).
No it doesn't give MI ability in dom3. Neverthelss, its a good armor to give to the unit with already high def.
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