Alisa v Melissan (or The Battle That Shouldn't Have Been): Part 2
Heading into the final showdown with Mel, the plan was simple: execute Alesia's finish as described in the quote below.The Plan: The plan for Mel was described earlier, but I'll do so again here. Keep it simple, stay safe. Keep out of Melee contact with Mel. injure her from a distance using the Wand of Frost and Sling Bullets. Resist the temptation to Breach her or lower her Magic Resistance. Doing so would provide transitent advantages, but ultmately, it would just complicate the fight and decrease the likelihood of missing a Focus. Every Focus must be hit. That is the highest priority. In addition, saves must be maintained in the highly negative range at all times with Potions of Invulnerabilty, Potions of Magic Shielding, and Potions of Stone Form. Check saves each time your come into melee contact with Mel (her Staff lowers saves on hit) and counter as appropriate. Damage must be managed as well. Never let HP total get into PW:K range- that's a recipe for death. At the same time, don't heal over-zealously: you need a clear Aura when she says "praeses." Rember to use the Tree of Life nuts or Sendai's Homebrew if you get seriously injured.
Note the underlined portion. The basic logic here remained compelling to me: injudicious use of aura can invite disaster when finishing Mel. However, now that I'm more comfotable with the mechanics of the fight, I can recognize more opportunities for safe aura use. Lowering Mel's magic resistance to make the Wand of Frost blast a touch more effective seemed to make more sense to me. What I didn't anticipate was that a slight change in Alisa's behavior might induce a response from Mel that could undermine the whole plan. That's what happened though.
Here we see the very begining of the fight: Alisa going to work with her sling and the Wand of Frost- just like Alesia had.
Every Time Stop was countered with a Focus, every opportunity to injure Mel was taken. She was hit over and over again; not hard but hit- just like Alesia. There was only one difference: this time Mel wasn't dying. Hours into the fight, Mel was at full health. Divine Cleansing was the cause.
This went on for what seemed like ages. Then disaster struck. Earlier in the battle, I noticed that the movement physics over by Sarevok's corpse were a bit odd. It was almost as though the engine was treating Sarevok as if he were still there. Perhaps it was: whenever Alisa released a Wand of Frost blast in that area, a magic resistance check for Sarevok appeared in the battle record. I had made a point of being careful there for much of the fight but then I made the error that should have gotten Alisa killed: she was trapped between Mel and Sarevok's Ghost.
Alisa was knocked unconscious- her Stoneskins were peeled and the damage started adding up. Death seemed certain. But with two hitpoints left
she got back on her feet and read an Absolute Immunity scroll. She was still alive. But she was trapped and had a full round to wait before she could use her aura again. What now?
Considering her options, I figured the four rounds of Absolute Immunity would give her just enough time to execute Full Heal (via Sendai's homebrew)->Shapechange (via scroll)->Shangechange: Iron Golem. The logic here being that the shift to the larger footprint would cause the engine to kick Alisa over to the other side of Sarevok's corpse. It had a chance to work, but only a chance: a quick PW:K or a later Breach could have ended Alisa in an instant.
The round spent waiting for Alisa's aura to clear seemed like an eternity. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when Alisa quaffed Sendai's Homebrew.
That was followed by even greater relief when Iron Golem Alisa emerged free and in full health on the otherside of Sarevok's Ghost.
She dashed into the open grateful for her second chance at life. There was only one problem: Mel still wasn't dying.
Frustrated, I deployed my characteristic response to adversity: I gave up and went to sleep.
That worked fine for me- I would have been happy enough to go on with my life. But when I awoke and brightened the screen on my laptop, I saw Alisa still standing there. She hadn't given up: She was still waiting for her chance at heroism. I thought of coffee and breakfast first, but Alisa's thumbnail sized avatar imposed her will: we were back in the fray.
But how would we fight -surely not as we had: that clearly didn't work. Desperate, I reached into Alisa's Bag of Holding and pulled out a Protection from Magic scroll. Perhaps applying it to Mel would prevent Divine Cleansing? Despite the fact that I normally consider Pro Magic scroll use out of bounds, I was willing to give it a try: No luck. Mel still had access to her full range of spells and now enjoyed a skifty buff. What else is in that bag? Perhaps something that won't make Mel even more powerful?
Alisa was going to have to deal damage fast and that meant melee. Her book was largely tapped, but she had a pair of Tenser's scrolls and a few Improved Haste charges- not to mention a few Potions of Storm Giant Strength. Ok: but what about defense? One Absolute Immunity scroll, no ProMWs left. Plenty of Stoneskins, but Mel's APR is excellent and her spear raises saves on hit while also disabling. We could get the AC low enough to make her miss on occassion, but she'll still be hitting regularly. Counter the save raises with repeated Potion of Magic Shielding quaffs? Could work. I was skeptical but the alternative was giving up, and Alisa wouldn't have it.
Timing would be important. Tenser's would prevent use of Focus which is why I had ruled it out untill reaching the point of desperation. The relatively short duration of the scroll based version would be helpful here but it would still be best to activate Tenser's at the very begining of a Mel Time Stop- after having layered on the other key buffs. It would also be best to begin the assault shortly after Divine Cleansing had been used- insuring that it won't be available in mid assault.
After gradually taking her buffs, Alisa waited for a Divine Cleansing and then pulled back from Mel to trigger a Time Stop. She activated Focus and readied her Absolute Immunity andTenser's scrolls.
The melee dual began just as Mel's Time Stop ended. And while Alisa's offhand Ninja To weapon was ineffective, Foebane did good damage.
Sadly, I do not have many screenshots from this phase: I tend not to take pics when battles feel out of control. Alisa had a few glorious rounds of free hits on Mel. And while she was disappointed to see that Foebane wasn't adding to her HP totals, she was pleasantly surprised with the damage: Mel was quickly brought down to Injured. As Absolute Immunity faded, Mel's spear started working through Alisa's Skins- and even more worryingly her saves. Her Tensered hitpoint total and initial Potion of Magic Shielding kept her out of the danger zone, but before long she was approaching the Power Word threshold. Alisa used Sendai's Homebrew. Mel Went Absolute Immunity. Alisa pulled back and then went Spell Strike->Breach. Alisa, re-Stoneskinned, hopefully rengaged the Badly Injured Mel but was then horrified to see a Divine Cleansing. Happily though, Cleansing doesn't full heal it seem- it only appeared to since Alisa had done so little damage in the prior phases of the fight: This time Mel was only brought back to Injured. Alisa bore back in- now with Ages in the main. And then suddenly -unexpectedly- just as Alisa's Tenser's was about to expire- Mel collaped.
Victory was Alisa's.
Phew. That was truly a nailbiter. Fun stuff.
Final Comment: While Alisa definitely could have been played better in this fight, I'm pleased with the way it turned out. Earlier I had mentioned that arcane rogues can be radically overpowered but also find themselves forced into nippy improvisation and resourcefulness. In her final battle at the throne, Alisa got a chance to play both roles and -on top of that- wage a battle worthy of a bard's tale. That's why in the end -Alisa's fight- as sloppy as it was- and as grueling as it was- evokes but one emotion: It makes me laugh. A fitting end for our Jester I think. Don't forget to giggle when you see her in the Hall.
Edited by Alesia_BH, 11 June 2013 - 09:02 PM.