How to: Regen dance

The tale of the siblings Althea and Shea
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yayswords
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How to: Regen dance

Post by yayswords » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:30 am

I'm going to share the family recipe... and rant a bit. Note that it's written from a nightmare perspective - it should both be far easier to pull this off on lower difficulties.

What's regen dancing?
You typically don't regain health/mana between battles unless you visit taverns or take the Restless trait. Potions also cost money - and turns. Given that I do not want to spend that gold or skill point if I can avoid it, I instead do something called regen dancing. The concept is simple - you can take however long you want with winning a battle, so delay your victory while you replenish your health and mana. Now I figure that anyone who is obsessed enough with optimizing their economy will figure this out themselves and the rest won't consider it worth the extra playtime, but taverns aren't always available or you might be low on gold, you might be fighting this long series of opponents and you realize you can't win the next fight because you're too battered, perhaps regen dancing will take less time than going back to wave 1?

What do you need?
Absolutely mandatory is a healing spell - the druid's Tree of Life or the ranger's Healing Prayer - and some SP regen on that healer (more than the +1 from the birthday gift mind you - you can't do this in act 1). Then you can fill up the health bars. But you probably also want to fill up the mana bars, so you need regen on everyone, and while you certainly can (and perhaps at some point should) buy Mana Channels for the whole party minus Krimm, there's a much better way: Riley's Energize spell. Since it costs 20 mana and restores 30, it can fill up everyone's bars. You don't strictly need SPR items on the party if you have Energize, but they certainly make it a lot faster - plus the Mana Channels have good stats anyway.

Other useful skills are: Kick, Protect and Rage (Krimm) and Ghost Form (Riley). I would take each of these even if I didn't have to regen dance - goes for heals/Energize too.

How do you do it?
It revolves around Riley. His most used actions will be Energize together with melee attack or position swap. He might spend entire battles doing nothing but these two. Even if your whole party starts on full health and mana, you still might want his first action to be Energize on himself.

It's important to know when you can afford to start dancing. You first need to be in a position where you can win without Riley contributing. With the easier mercs (Lugal/Gamesh) this probably means right away. Either way, don't mistake using regen dances for playing defensively and passively from turn one. I could name a few encounters you'll probably never beat like that. Riley is much more than a mana battery - in particular, Slumber and Ghost Form are very powerful spells.

At the latest your regen dance should start when there's only one enemy left. Try to leave the weakest one for last if you can, but generally there are no monsters that can mess up the dance by themselves. They'll probably have 0 mana after all, so they can't do much. Keep Energize up on Riley and throw it around the party. Take short (low delay) actions whenever possible to make your next turn (and the regen with it) come up faster.

Swapping positions has 4 delay, but if you swap with a party member instead of an empty spot, it's 4 delay for that party member too - making it 8 in total. Melee attack is 6, though you need to be careful not to kill the last monster. It's great to leave a thief for last for this reason, as they will take reduced damage from the sides (except from your own thieves - Hunter/Chalassa/Jariel). Typically thieves are archers. Mage melee attacks are generally pitiful to begin with too, so they can do a lot of staffwhacking for short delay. Lastly you can of course use Defend, especially for whoever the last mob is futilely trying to kill.

A few game mechanics that make this less of a headache: Doubleclicking a target repeats your last action (not Defend/position swap though, but melee attack and Energize work). Clicking yourself and pressing D uses Defend.

Now for Krimm to help Riley with this. Krimm with Rage can generally manage her own mana. Use Kick on the last mob you left alive as often as you feel you can afford to. Those debuffs will help reduce incoming damage. If the last mob is an archer, have Krimm use Protect on its intended victim, and she can get some mana back through Rage. Or she might be the target herself for the same effect. If it's a thief, position Krimm as far away from it as possible so she can hit it for minimum damage but still get mana back through Rage. This part isn't really regen dancing for Krimm, just making Kick affordable.

Ghost Form during regen dance you should only use if it's not Riley's mana you're waiting for, though that's rarely the case. Still, GF + Defend (on whoever is targeted) can crank up defense to crazy values and you'll usually block the attacks so there's no annoying chip damage you might want to outheal.

One thing you might notice is that it's a lot less annoying to try to win a battle using few abilities (heals and a few surgical nukes) than it is to use a lot of them and then replenish all the mana again. Remember, Riley needs to cast Energize on himself twice just to regain the mana from casting it on someone else once. And then he has to take the turns to let it kick in. I would definitely say that if you can only afford one Mana Channel, give it to Riley.

And a final trick for resource management that has nothing to do with dancing: Pay attention to your party members' experience. If someone is going to get a level up after a battle, exhaust that character and let them do the hard work for the victory. They'll heal to full afterward.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

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fabulaparva
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Re: How to: Regen dance

Post by fabulaparva » Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:33 pm

Good thing that you reminded me of the staffwhacking. I do only very limited regen dances, mainly to get Riley's SP up to high enough level so that he can cast Energize and Slumber in the beginning of next fight. Have been using defend on him while waiting, but I guess I should switch to "melee"

Experience from "decimated party" situation. I had Riley, Vaelis, Krimm and Hunter alive at one point, with Vaelis' and Krimm's HP next to nil (<20HP). Hunter had SPregen gear. On the enemy side there were two warriors left alive, but with no SP to do strike-throughs or other hits on the backrow. I moved Hunter to the front line across an empty space and everybody else to the back. Invigorating Prayer + Hiding in Shadows + Defend kept the Hunter pretty much intact while Riley increased the HPs of the warriors in a limited "regen dance" to a tolerable level for the next fight. Krimm's Ralkor's Blood helped, too.


By the way, potions have a benefit that is easily ignored... they can be used while paralyzed, including those potions/bombs that can be thrown at enemies.

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yayswords
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Re: How to: Regen dance

Post by yayswords » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:43 am

fabulaparva wrote:By the way, potions have a benefit that is easily ignored...
BUT THE GOLD
they can be used while paralyzed, including those potions/bombs that can be thrown at enemies.
That's so funny I might start doing it... vile temptress :(

Since you confessed to doing very limited regen dances, I should start the victory dance, but in fact I use a potion now and then if it's a looted one.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

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fabulaparva
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Re: How to: Regen dance

Post by fabulaparva » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:48 am

yayswords wrote: That's so funny I might start doing it... vile temptress :(
:shock: Such accusations!
yayswords wrote:Since you confessed to doing very limited regen dances, I should start the victory dance, but in fact I use a potion now and then if it's a looted one.
So it's no for booze but yes for looted booze? And here I was thinking that you'd sell those potion drops at the nearest store..... :P

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yayswords
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Re: How to: Regen dance

Post by yayswords » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:09 pm

For most part I don't actually do anything with the potions I loot. They're the last thing I sell, so that only happens if I need every penny I can get. And I only use them in a fight if it's either that or a lot of headache :P it's very rare I use them, probably not even once per act.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

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