Hardcore Guide for G1 and NotR
August, 22th: minor addition to the NotR section
August, 26th: some changes to the G1 section and an addition to NotR
September, 9th: new section for NotR and some minor changes here and there
The Gothic Hardcore Guide
This guide is aimed at all those who are experienced Gothic players and are looking for the next challenge. It will teach you how to play Gothic I and Night of the Raven in Hardcore mode.
Playing hardcore means that you cannot reload if you die or if something else goes wrong. If you die, than your character is dead and you have to start from the beginning. If an NPC dies or an NPC sees you steal something or kill someone, you'll have to live with that. Obviously, this makes the game a lot (and I mean A LOT) harder, but it also provides you with a much richer game experience and makes everything much more exciting. Normally, narrowly escaping death saves you two minutes or maybe ten minutes if you don't save very often; in hardcore, narrowly escaping death might well end up saving you ten, twenty or thirty hours. And if you do manage to make it to the extro video, you'll truly feel like a real hero.
Attention: This guide contains a whole lot of spoilers. You have been warned.
Okay, so I want to start playing hardcore. What do I have to know?
First of all, make a post into this tread. It's a place where fellow hardcore players post about their experiences and report about their failure and their success (the latter being the exception ).
Secondly, you have to know the two basic rules:
1. Reloading is not allowed, unless to resume the game (i.e. you can of course save the game when you stop playing and load it when you continue playing) or if your game crashed or if you died as a result of an unpredictable bug. If you die as a result of a common or predictable bug (e.g. Gorn attacking you in the free mine in G1 or not being able to shoot arrows or bolts after a speed potion runs out in G2), your character is dead. As an experienced player, it's in your responsibility to take preemptive measures against common bugs.
If a common bug makes the game unsolvable, but doesn't kill you (such as the well known Baal Lukor bug), you're allowed to reload.
2. Bug abuse is not allowed. There are a few obvious bugs like blocking while falling to avoid taking damage in G1 or using a transformation scroll to get through closed doors or gates or killing merchants or a Seekers with Ice Block in G2 to get their trading inventory or their runes. However, in many instances it's debateable whether it's a bug or just a cool trick . You'll have to decide for yourself what constitutes a bug in your eyes.
The Hardcore Mentality
Don't be a hero. If you want to survive in hardcore, you must be a coward. Never enter a fight if you aren't relatively sure that you will win and completely sure that you can get away if anything goes wrong. As a rule of thumb, your goal is to keep your hit points above 50% at all times. If it ever drops below 50%, you're doing something wrong. Chances are you shouldn't have engaged the situation in the first place and once you were in there, you should have run immediately when you noticed that you were taking too much damage.
Plan your exit strategy. No matter how well you can plan ahead, sooner or later you will get into a situation that turns out to be more dangerous than you expected. Therefore it's imperative that you at all times know where the fastest and safest escape route lies. Whenever you go into a situation that might turn out ugly, swallow a speed potion beforehand so that you can escape more easily. This is even more important when fighting against fast opponents like Shadowbeasts or Razors
One very important point about hardcore is that you don't want to waste time. Since the odds are heavily stacked against you, you will probably have to restart the game several times before you manage to complete it. Thus, you really want to save as much time as possible. There are many ways of doing that, the most prominent being speed potions of course, but there are many other ways like transforming yourself into a Bloodfly in G1 (watch out for NPCs though) which makes you not only faster, but also able to climb terrain that you couldn't as a human and makes you not take any damage from falling at all, thus opening up many shortcuts.
Do not however trade off security in favour of speed. Whenever you have to enter any situation that is even remotely dangerous, take all the time you need.
Still, you should usually be able to play through G1 in 5-10 hours and through NotR in 20-40 hours.
Late game is more important than early game. In hardcore, dying early on is no big deal compared to dying later in the game. Therefore, your skill build should be geared towards becoming as strong as possible in late game and you should become more and more averse to taking risks as the game progresses.
A related point is that saving time is especially important early on in the game, so at the start it's perfectly acceptable to sacrafice a few experience points for the sake of becoming strong earlier. For example if you want to become a Milita in NotR, it's probably a good idea to become a Milita as early as possible and then to get to the VoM as early as possible to buy the Heavy Milita Armour. Once you have that, you'll have a much easier time farming all those low level monsters. The price you pay for that is not getting a few of the merc quests, but that's a small enough price to pay for such a fast start.
For the most part, Gothic I is actually a very easy game if you know all its little secrets. If you are always wearing the best defensive gear that's available, most opponents that you encounter in the main quest will not even deal enough damage to pierce your armour. However, there are a couple of unavoidable situations in the game that are very dangerous, so the G1 section of this guide is mostly about dealing with those.
But first I'll lose a few words about skill builds.
How to Build Your Character
G1 isn't a very well balanced game. There is exactly one type of character that's good, and that's a combination of melee fighter and mage.
Ranged combat simply sucks in G1 as it deals so little damage and going pure melee or pure magic is not viable either since you get so many LPs during the game.
The only real decision in terms of choosing a skill build is how you split your LPs between magic and melee and more importantly when to get which.
No matter what you do, the first 65 LPs should go towards 1h level 1 and getting strength to 70 (including the Horatio bonus), so that you can wield the strongest 1h weapon in the game, Scar's Sword. After that I recommend either getting 1h level 2 and maxing out strength before getting your magic to the fourth circle or getting the fourth circle right away, along with some mana (investing 20-40 LPs should be plenty).
After that you should get 2h to level 2 (regardless of which of the two routes you took) so that you'll be able to use Uriziel effectively.
Any additional LPs can be spent on strength (if not maxed out already) or mana. If you have a lot of spare LPs you can also learn the 5th and 6th circle of magic to get access to the Robe of Dark Arts which is stronger against magic than the Ore Armour (and also looks way cooler). Do not however turn Uriziel into a rune, it's much stronger as a sword since the rune's cast time is way too long, so it's very difficult to actually use the rune without being interrupted..
If you're wondering why this skill build does not contain secondary skill x, it's because x is either worthless or actively harmful. Animal trophies are worthless since money is never an issue in Gothic I except for like the first hour of the game. Thief talents are even worse. Sneaking and pickpocketing have no practical uses and all that lockpicking does is save you a few lockpicks.
Learning acrobatics is a very bad idea since it makes your jumping very unpredictable, and everything that's unpredictable is a bad idea in hardcore. You really don't want to end up accidentally jumping down a cliff. The fact that you can move faster with acrobatics also doesn't mean much since you are even faster when taking a speed potion (and from the third chapter onwards there are more than enough speed potions available and in early game you're better off investing those LPs into combat skills).
A quick word about guilds: both the Old Camp and the New Camp are fine, the differences between those two are really minescule. However, you shouldn't join the Sect Camp because they are worse off in terms of armours.
Opponents You Shouldn't Underestimate
Bloodflies and Wolves. They actually deal 30 and 40 damage, respectively, making them much stronger than their G2 counterparts. Don't fight them until you are a Shadow or Rogue.
Fire Lizards. One hit is usually enough to kill you, so don't let them hit you. The best spell here is Ball Lightning, but since Fire Lizards only come in groups, you'll need to do some hit and run. Fire Lizards are faster than you are without a speed potion, so you better be damn sure that your potion will last long enough. Since they are so dangerous, I recommend you to only go after Fire Lizards when you need to kill one for the Ulu Mulu. Otherwise those experience points simply aren't worth risking your life.
Trolls. The ones you encounter with Diego and Gorn are easy enough since you have an invincible ally doing all the tanking, but the troll you have to kill for the Ulu Mulu is a little more tricky. You can't just run up to it and shrink it, because you will find yourself flying through the air before you complete the spells. Therefore, you should summon a creature like a Golem and get the Troll to attack your summon, thus giving you enough time to shrink it.
Groups of NPCs, especially with ranged weapons. Ranged weapons are quite dangerous in G1 because it's very hard to get protection against it. Therefore, throughout the entire game you should never fight against groups of NPCs, with the sole exception of Cor Kalom's novices at the end of the game.
Note: since this guide is aimed at experienced players, this is a very brief walkthrough that only covers the most dangerous situations. This means that most of the walkthrough is focussed on the last three chapter since the first three are fairly easy and straightforward.
As a stepping stone on your way to get Scar's Sword, you will want to take Lares's Axe. You need to be aware that if you pick up any item in Lares's hut, he will regard that as theft and attack you. Roscoe will also start shooting you with his bow, which makes that situation a lot more dangerous. This means that when you fight Lares in order to take his axe and get knocked down, you mustn't pick up your weapon after you get up, since that weapon is now in Lares's hut and the game therefore regards picking it up as theft, so better bring more than one good weapon.
You definitely want access to the Ore Barons' house, so no matter what guild you want to join, do the quests for the Old Camp to the point where Thorus sends you to talk to Gomez. If you want to join the New Camp, you need to take Scar's Sword while you're still guildless, otherwise other npcs will attack you once you knock down Scar. You should empty all the chests that you find in the upper level, where you'll find among other things a few nice amulets and 3 potions that permanently increase your hp.
When you're in the Orc Graveyard, you should already have enough protection that the Orc Hunters won't hurt you, but there is one Orc Warrior there which you should take out with two Firestorms (some Firestorm scrolls can be found in the mummies in the first room in the Graveyard).
When you're at the Stone Henge to get the Focus, you need to make sure that Milten is doing all the tanking and you definitely need a speed scroll to get away quickly if the skeletons start targeting you. Be careful not to waste your destroy undead scroll, otherwise you'll have to kill the Guardian with Windfist or Stormfist; physical attacks will work too, but the Guardian has 150 protection and a pretty nasty attack, so be very careful and don't forget taking those speed potions.
The Focus that you get together with Diego is probably the easiest, you do however have to watch out for the Goblin Warriors; they can in fact pierce your armour, so let Diego do the tanking.
Lester's Focus isn't much harder, the only problem there is the Golem on the bridge. Your best bet here is just to lure it from the bridge and then run past it. Golems are always nasty opponents and you really don't want to risk your life for a few measly XP.
Oh, and don't go to the highest level in the fort, the ladder that leads up there is a bit bugged and you might end up falling down (and there really isn't much of interest up there anyway).
At Gorn's Focus you need to pay close attention not to fall from the tree that serves as a bridge. Clear out any snappers that are close to the tree by magic (Fireball will do fine, but Firestorm is of course better; use scrolls if you don't have the third circle yet) or by letting them fall down into the canyon. It's best to walk (not run) on tree to make sure you don't fall down.
The remaining Snappers shouldn't be a problem, but you need to let Gorn take care of the Shadowbeast and the Young Troll.
The Stone Golem at Xardas's tower is very dangerous, but there really isn't much you can do about that. Just make sure to take a speed potion and put on all the life and strength items that you have. When you use left-right attacks, he shouldn't be able to hit you, so you just need to make sure to get the first hit and then everything else follows. The Ice Golem is killed with a single fully charged Fire Ball and the Fire Golem requires two fully charged Ball Lightnings (using those is way safer than relying on Ice Arrows).
The Free Mine is a veritable death pit for hardcore players, so be very careful. Do not go near Jackal and the other Guards that are guarding the entrance to the mine. Instead, when you get close to the bottom level, jump down outside of Jackal's "converation range". Open the door to the hut at the right and turn the winch to open the door. Then you simply wait for Gorn to get his lazy ass down to kill the guards.
Before you enter the mine, be sure to swallow a speed potion and then as soon as you're in there you just jump down to the left of the bridge. Do not under any circumstances stay to fight the guards. Their crossbows are way too dangerous to you.
After you jump down, there is a chance that one (or if you're very unlucky even two) guard will follow you down there. Deal with him first and while you do that, make sure that you stay out of the aggro range of the first Minecrawler.
Just work your way through the Minecrawler Warriors until you get to Tarrok. Get him his medicine and then you go back the way you came. That way you do not actually have to fight the guards, but you still get enough crawlerplates for Wolf.
Before you go to the Orc Town, you want to make sure that you have everything you need for the first part of the Orc Temple because you shouldn't return from there until you've found Uriziel (because otherwise the teleport scroll for the Orc Temple will not respawn).
Instead of walking into the Orc Town with the Ulu Mulu, it's better to transform into a Blood Fly (which won't be attacked by regular Orcs either but which will be attacked by Ur Shak, not sure about the other Orc Shamans) and fly into the cave where the teleport scroll is. You can of course also use the Ulu Mulu to just walk in there, but then you will get one or two orcs following you around.
Don't try to get the statue that the Orc Shamans dance around. Fire Balls are very dangerous in G1 because if you get hit by one, your character will burn for a second or two and you will be unable to move, which can easily be fatal, so just save yourself all that hassle and just use the teleport scroll.
Alright, take a deep breath, you've already come very far, but the most dangerous bit still lies ahead.
Within the temple, there is an increased risk of game crashes, especially whenever you encounter one of the undead orc shamans, so save your game frequently.
Pay special attention not to trigger any of the traps. In particular, those are the spots where you have to be careful:
Here you need to activate the left switch, the right one will get you crushed by the ceiling.
In this room you mustn't climb on top of the pedestal or you will be crushed by a pillar. You can pick up the Destroy Undead Scroll without climbing up there.
Here you need to stand outside the room and shoot the target with a bow or crossbow. Once you've done that, the spikes will go off and it will be safe to enter the room.
Don't go in by the front door if you prefer not to be impaled. Go to the right and you'll find a spot where you can climb inside.
Another big threat are the Orc Shamans. They are particularly dangerous because they are capable of disabling you, making it very difficult for you to retaliate once you've been hit.
The trick here is having summons who can attack the shaman even while you are disabled. So before you engage a shaman, just summon a bunch of skeletons (alternatively, a demon should also do the trick) and you should be fine. Obviously you also want to change into your best robe (probably the High Robe of Water) so that you have the maximum protection against magic (or fire in the case of Varrag Ruuushk, the one guarding Uriziel).
Also, don't just walk up to the shaman. Instead, open the fight with a fully charged Firestorm and then after the shaman has walked up to you and talked to you, use Ice Block and proceed to join your skeletons in beating the shaman to death.
Also please note that Varrag Ruuushk is immune to fire.
Once you have Uriziel, you can leave the temple and go back to Xardas. After picking up the Ore Armour, it's time for some last preparations before you load up Uriziel, tell Xardas that you've done so and head back to the Orc Temple. Go back to the Orc Town again and go to the same chest where the teleport scroll was earlier. If you only left the Temple after you've found Uriziel and if you told Xardas that you've charged up Uriziel, there should be another teleport scroll, so use that to get back into the temple.
The last shaman shouldn't be too difficult because he cannot disable you. You do have to watch out though, since his spell deals 100 magic damage. Just freeze him and whack him to death with your ridiculously oversized sword.
Contrary to what I said in the original version of this guide, the end fight is actually very easy.
Run up to Cor Kalom (he will use Pyrokinesis against you, but if you have more than 20 protection against magic he won't deal any damage to you) and use Sleep on him. Even once he wakes up, he won't attack you any more. Now go to either the shrine on the left or the shrine on the right and summon a Demon. Then you stab the heart, run to the next shrine and stab the heart there and repeat the process for the remaining three hearts. The spawning Demon Lords will probably attack your own Demon and there's also a single Novice who will start attacking, but fortunately he is also hostile to the Demon Lords, so he usually ends up helping you by distracting the Demon Lords. Typically you should be able to do all this without being hit even once, but even if you screw up somehow, it's no big deal, just retreat, heal up and kill the Demon Lords that are near the remaining hearts. You can kill them either with Uriziel or with Firestorm.
This method of dealing with the end fight has - to the best of my knowledge - been discovered by TheWonderer and can be seen in action in his G1 speed run.
My Hardcore Speed Run
I've made a hardcore speed run where I play through the game in 3:20 hours. You can watch it here if you're interested. Maybe you can take a few pointers from watching those videos, but remember that many of the things I do in my run to save time also make the game more dangerous, so don't just copy things directly.
If you have made it through the game and you're looking for the next challenge, you can try playing G1 hardcore with some self imposed restriction to make the game even more difficult. Examples include a time limit, playing without spending LPs (or for a less extreme challenge only spending 50% or some other portion of your LPs), playing without wearing any armour, playing without using any magic (except for teleportation scrolls/runes) or the reverse, playing without using any physical force (except against the Stone Golem and the targets in the Orc Temple).
Or if you want a different kind of hardcore challenge, you can try playing...
Night of the Raven
NotR is a much harder game than Gothic I, particularly because it takes so damn long. Where in G1 you can do the first chapter and get Scar's Sword within only an hour, making you capable of taking on most opponents in the Colony, the start in NotR is so much slower and the later parts of the game also take so much longer. What partially makes up for that is that scrolls only cost 5 mana and strong scrolls are available right from the start.
Due to that, the most dangerous thing in NotR are not actually the strongest opponents like the Dragons but actually your everyday opponents, so instead of having a few very dangerous situatons like in G1, you have a large number of slightly dangerous situations.
If you have any questions about NotR, the first place to visit is Mondgesänge, a database where you'll find a plethora of information about G2 and NotR. There is also a section for G1 and G3, but those are unfortunately only available in German.
You can save a bunch of learning points by learning any attribute or ability to one point below the threshold where the cost is increased and then learning 5 points at once for the old price. For example you can learn dexterty to 59, then learn another 5 points for just 10 LPs (instead of 14). This way you can save 4 LPs for every threshold.
This might be regarded as a bug, so use your own judgement on whether or not you want to use this.
You can save 5 LPs as a mage if you don't learn the first circle of magic and instead go to Milten in the Valley of Mines to learn the second circle straight away, without having to pay for the first circle. Again, this might be regarded as a bug.
Most of you probably know this, but it's so important in HC that it's worth saying again: as early as possible in the game, you should make 20 donations of 50 gold each to Doran (the firemage in Khorinis), which gives you +85 life (along with some minor other bonuses). Early on in the game this means more than doubling your HP so it makes you a lot safer. Note that you can no longer donate to Daron if you are a Fire Mage.
Pickpocketing is a great way to gain experience, gold and some other useful or valuable things, but you need to be careful not to be caught.
The option for pickpocketing only appears if the NPCs dex requirement is at most 10 points above your current dex value, so one way of making sure that you aren't caught is first talking to the NPC without your dex equipment and if the option is available, then put on rings or an amulet to gain at least 10 dex so you can safely steal from the person. If you don't have equipment that gives you +10 dex yet, you should take a look at this list, compiled by Captain Rudi. It's in German, but it should be understandable enough.
How to Build Your Character
As far as guilds go, Paladins are quite similar to Dragon Hunters. The DH's only major advantage is having better guild weapons, especially as far as one hand goes. The Paladin has two major advantages: a much faster and easier start (joining the Milita and getting the Heavy Milita Armour is much faster and easier than joining the Mercs and getting the Crawler Armour) and not having to pay for the Paladin Armour (20k gold is a huge deal, even that late into the game).
Therefore I'd only consider recommend playing as a DH if you're going for a one hand strength build, and since strength builds are bad in HC (see below), my advice is simple: don't play Dragon Hunters.
If you want to play a Paladin, you can go for three main routes: one hand, two hand or bow.
The first two face a major problem: they rely heavily on melee combat, which is bad since there's so much randomness to melee fights (especially early on when you have a low crit chance). Also, you can't really fight Seekers in melee combat, since they have the ability to cast some very nasty spells, including Rain of Fire. The chance for casting Rain is very low, but there still is that chance, and the risk is just too high for a HC game.
A dex build is superior to that in every way imaginable. You get a much faster start (since bows deal a lot more damage in early game), more experience and gold thanks to pickpocketing, can use hit and run to safely deal with strong opponents, and thanks to the very strong dex weapons (Sword, Rapier, Master Sword) you will be reasonably strong in melee combat as well.
Mages are a different thing altogether and allow for way more creativity as far as the skillbuild is concerned. Mages have three main disadvantages:
-A very slow start: since they shouldn't sacrafice mana to Beliar, they are short 5.5k gold and since they should only join the monastery after having prayed to Innos until they have received either 10 strength or 10 dexterty
-Inferior armour: in the first two chapters they are roughly on par with a merc (making them worse off than the milita) and in the third chapter they get their High Robe of Fire only after the Eye of Innos has been healed, whereas Paladins and DHs get their respective armour as soon as Bennet is free (which means they can get it before doing Jharkendar) and in the fifth chapter they don't get any new armour.
-No guild weapons, no Beliar's Claw (well, you get Beliar runes, but compared to the Claw they really suck).
In essence, that's the price you pay for using rune magic. It looks like a very steep price, but it's actually not that bad. The delay in getting better armour in chapter three isn't that much and the deadliness of high level magic (particularly Rain of Fire) easily makes up for having to keep the High Robe of Fire for the rest of the game.
Mages can be roughly categorised into three types:
-Pure mages who spend no LPs on combat skills. Instead, they use their early game LPs for secondary talents like the languages and the thief's talents and then spend all their LPs on mana and runes.
-Balanced mages spend a few (usually somewhere between 30 and 60) LPs on combat.
-Battle mages focus on their combat skills and invest only a few LPs into mana (or even none at all) and only learn a select few runes.
To be brief, pure mages suck. There really isn't enough to spend your LPs on, since learning mana past 64 isn't all that rewarding and since the number of really useful runes is low. There may be a few select situations where having an extra rune makes things a little bit easier, but this in no way compensates for the horrendously slow start and the fact that you'll be sipping those mana potions like crazy because you have to use magic even on minor opponents. The other two types of mages are very viable in HC.
Please note: this mini-skill-guide (as well the following two for the regular mage and the battle mage) describe a way of building your character that allows you to finish the game within a reasonable timeframe, while still being quite safe. There are ways of skilling your character that will end up with a stronger hero in the end, but I feel that these make the late game only marginally safer and it's therefore not worth spending a huge amount of time for getting a level 50+ character. That said, you are of course free to play whatever way you like, these are just suggestions.
Our goal here is to get dex to 90/94 (depending on whether or not you decide to use the lp-saving trick described in the General Tips section) and bow to 60/64. In addition to that, you should learn lockpicking, pickpocketing, brewing the Elixir of Dexterty and the three languages. Taking furs, sneaking and Holy Arrow (primarily useful against Dragon Snappers because they have no protection against magic) are optional. You don't actually need to put any points into one hand because the only situation where you really want to go into melee combat would be fighting against NPCs, but if you wish you can spend up to 20/24 LPs into 1h.
This means that without the lp saving trick, the total LP requirement is between 320 and 355 (depending on how much you spend on the optional stuff) and with the lp trick it's 328-367.
You should start the game off by learning to take furs (if you wish to learn it) and getting your dex to 30/34. Next you should get bow to 30/34, followed by the thief talents (you may have to delay on pickpocketing if you aren't in the thief guild yet). Then you get your dex to 64 and then your bow to about 40-45, before bringing your dex to 90/94 so that you can finally take those dex bonuses. In that vein, your next LPs should go to brewing the Elixir of Dexterty and learning all the languages that you haven't learned already. Then you can get bow to 60/64 and your hero should be complete. Your surplus LPs can be spent on some overpriced dex (Diego and Cassia can teach you up to 200) or bow points (Wolf can teach you up to 90% and once you are on Irdorath, Diego can go up to 100%) or really anything else you like because it doesn't really matter at this point.
The goal here is to start by geting dex to 40 (learn to take furs first though if you plan on getting it), bow to 20 and one hand to 20 and then to learn the first two languages. That way, the bonuses that are easily available for a low level character will take your dex to over 60 (meaning you can use the Master Sword), your bow to 30 and your one hand to 30 (if you use the Rapier or Master Sword). With the additional bonuses that you get later in the game, your dex can go over 100 (even without the Tears of Innos and Embarla Firgasto), your bow can go up to 50 and your one hand can go up to 51 (meaning 61% if you use the Master Sword and 71% if you also use Morgan's Ring).
Once you're done with your combat skills, the next LPs should go towards the thief talents and taking Minecrawler plates (if you're in Chapter 2 already), before finally starting with your magical abilities.
Training your mana to 60/64 should be plenty, as there are so many available bonuses that you will still easily reach over 300 mana in late game. This threshold is important because it allows you to cast Rain of Fire twice, and two Rains of Fire are enough to kill basically anything that is unfortunate enough to be within the huge area of effect.
Runes you should definitely learn are Fire Arrow (obviously), Ice Lance, Ice Block and Rain of Fire. Recommended runes are Summon Goblin Skeleton (can be found in chapter 3, but is very useful to have early on), Create Skeleton and Lightning. Optional runes (learn them if you have a surplus of LPs in late game) include Wave of Ice (usually scrolls should be enough), Summon Demon (you get Rain of Fire shortly afterwards, so those Demons aren't really necessary very often in late game) and Wave of Death (higher cast time than Rain of Fire and Rain last for a few seconds after you cast it; only really useful against the UD).
With taking furs and taking Minecrawler plates, without sneaking and with all recommended runes, this puts the total LP requirement at a very moderate 298 or 303 (depending on whether you learn the first circle from Parlan or you start by learning the second circle from Milten). If you have all the optional runes you want, additional LPs can be used for mana (if you are still below 300, Pyrokar can teach you).
The goal here is to create a character that combines the strength of a dex character and a mage. The downside here is that - like a regular mage - your early game will be slow and on top of that you will need a few more LPs than a normal mage. Therefore I feel that this character is overall slightly weaker in hardcore than the other two I presented.
You start off by learning to take furs (if you wish to learn it) and getting dex to 60/64. Then you pray to Innos and donate 100 gold each time until you've received +10 dex. You have to do this before joining the Monastery, which is why you can't save this bonus until you have 90/94 dex.
After that you learn to take Crawler plates (if you're in chapter two already) and learn the thief talents. Now you can start training bow to 30/34 and then either take about 10 points worth of archery bonuses and train mana to 30/34 before starting to take your mana bonuses or you save your bow bonuses, skip learning mana entirely (which means you'll have to be very thorough when looking for bonuses, otherwise you won't reach 300) and instead bring bow to 60/64 immediately before taking all your archery bonuses.
Now you can train dex to 90/94 and then take your bonuses. If you trained mana and don't have bow trained to 60/64 yet, do so now.
You should be learning to brew the Elixir of Spirit instead of the Elixir of Dexterty because in late game 5 mana is more valuable than 2 dexterty.
During all of this, you should learn the following runes as soon as they become available: Fire Arrow, Ice Block and Rain of Fire. It's optional to learn Ice Lance and Lightning; they only cost 5 LPs each and are very useful against some opponents, particularly Fire Lizards (Ice Lance deals double damage) and Skeletons (one Lightning is enough to kill them). Additional LPs in late game can be spent on Wave of Ice, Summon Demon and Wave of Death.
This puts the total LP cost (with taking furs, without sneaking, with Ice Lance and Lightning, and with learning mana to 30/34) at about 350.
Opponents You Shouldn't Underestimate
Goblin Skeletons. Those little buggers are very dangerous to you at the start of the game. The best way of dealing with them early on is with scrolls. They have 75 life and no protection against magic, so a single Fireball (or 3 Fire Arrows or 1 Fire Arrow and one Ice Arrow) is enough to kill them.
Wargs. There are some of those in the forest behind Sekob's Farm, so have a careful eye on them. Later on they are still quite dangerous if you let them get close to you. They have only 75 protection from arrows and 0 against magic, so deal with them from a distance.
Minecrawlers. They attack very quickly in NotR, so don't use bows against them at melee range and avoid fighting more than one at a time.
Trolls. Do not ever under any circumstances go into melee combat against a Troll. No matter how strong your character is, being thrown back when you get hit is very dangerous because if get unlucky, you might land in such a way that the Troll will get another hit in just as you're standing up. Regular Trolls can be dealt with by a single summoned skeleton. One skeleton is usually even enough to kill two Trolls successively. The Black Troll can simply be shrunken (unlike in G1, here you actually have the time to shrink the Troll before it attacks you) or you can transform into a Dragon Snapper and kill it that way.
Golems. The same rules that apply to Trolls, also apply to Golems of all kind. The best strategy is just to avoid Golems. Whenever you have to pass by a Golem (for instance when getting to three of the four dragons in the VoM), simply tranform into an animal (Snapper probably works best because it doesn't draw aggro from Lizard Men and it also runs fast) and run past the Golem.
Skeleton Mages. They can freeze you with Ice Block, which is basically a death sentence. Use Destroy Undead or Rain of Fire to kill them immediately.
Dragon Snappers. They deal 200 damage per hit, have 150 protection from everything ecxept magic, are very fast and usually come in groups. The only upside is that they have no protection against magic, so mages can safely kill them from a distance (but they do need to make sure to swallow a speed potion beforehand to be able to get away if anything goes wrong). Dragon Snappers count as evil, so Paladin magic also works against them.
----------End of guide for now, additional NotR content will follow shortly----------
If you have any suggestions, particularly if anything in the general and the G1 part is unclear or you think something is missing there feel free to post in this thread and I'll make any necessary changes or additions to the guide.
Last edited by Der_Jonn; 09.09.2009 at 20:53.
hmm great guide. i will try it in my new HC.
hmm jsut to ask, if i am dexternity based paladin - than my sword(from harad) isnt worth anything right?
A good guide, but... personally, I'd remove the walkthrough section or at least put it in spoiler-tags. A G3-part would also be cool, because that certainly is the trickiest to play in HC partially due to the abundance of small but possibly lethal bugs left even by the CP's.
Hehe, I'm going to make a dex based paladin, I'll tell you how it goes, I've completed the game HC one time before (in the wake of around 10 previouse attempts) with a str based 2H paladin, it really sucked toward the end because it was very hard to take on crowds of beasts like those blasted lizard men.
I never tried to beat Scar as guildless,so it's possible to beat him guildless without being attacked by the others?
I used to look for berserk sword for 1 handed sword before i get the scar's sword.So Lares's axe it's better than berserk sword?
A good guide but I have to disagree with you about being a 2h master if you're a mage(fire/water>necromancer) because, Wave of Death deals much more damage to much more enemies at the same time.
Also a little hint from me:
Kill ALL the NPCs you can, without getting yourself killed. Gothic 1 Example: those 2 hunters in the beginning of the game, and the 2 bridge guards, followed by the 2 diggers right outside the camp... they are all useless. Kill them for additional experience. And really, once an NPC has served it's purpose(teaching you ho to gut animals, for example) kill it. Do not hesitate to do that in a hardcore game, because you will need as much free experience you can in the beginning of the hardcore attempt.
And really, avoid trying to take over the new mine... I've done that a couple of times in a hardcore attemp... only 1 was a success(and that was in my last g1 hardcore game, which was victorious). In general, do not go head-on to LARGE groups of enemies unless you can take down all at the same. Example - the orcs arround the Castle in VoM(gothic 2) - you can pull 'em, use wave of ice a couple of times and then Rain of Fire them to death.
No, as a dex character you want to use the weapons that need dexterty if you're forced into melee combat (or Beliar's Claw if you have it), so that would be the Sword (40 dmg/ 20 dex +5 1h, can be found in lots of places), the Rapier (100dmg/ 50 dex +8 1h, can be found behind two trolls near Onar's Farm) and the Master Sword (120dmg/ 60 dex +10 1h, can be bought from Martin or found in Xardas's tower in the VoM). There's also Betty (130dmg/ 110 dex), but she's rarely worth it because she doesn't give any bonus to one hand.
Originally Posted by Zerion92
Originally Posted by Hellbilly
Sorry, I'm not familiar enough with G3 to write a guide for it. I only finished G3 HC once, and that was on easy mode in CP1.6.
A G3-part would also be cool, because that certainly is the trickiest to play in HC partially due to the abundance of small but possibly lethal bugs left even by the CP's.
Yes, however you should only go for Scar if you're guildless, because if you attack Arto afterwards, Scar will attack you (and even unarmed he still deals a lot of damage).
Originally Posted by AngelofGothic
I'm not quite sure what sword you mean because I play the German version, but yes, Lares Axe is the strongest one hand weapon that is available in the first chapter and doesn't belong to one of the Ore Barons.
I used to look for berserk sword for 1 handed sword before i get the scar's sword.So Lares's axe it's better than berserk sword?
The problem with wave of death is that it takes so long to cast, so it's very hard to pull off against a group of opponents without being interrupted, plus the only group of opponents you'll have to face at that point in the game are Cor Kalom's novices and with a group of Golems it shouldn't be hard to deal with them.
Originally Posted by Dino
Wave of Death might be useful if you want to pay the Old Camp a visit, but if you aren't using two hand weapons, you have no use for Innos Wrath, so the only motivation for going there is the improved Ore Armour and I don't really find it worth the risk and time if you already have the Robe of Dark Arts.
Yes exactly. As a mage, I find Ice Block/Wave of Ice to be EXTREMELY usefull in a hardcore situation. Saved my life countless times.
Originally Posted by AngelOfGothic
about a scar, well just take crossbow - be behind table so arto cant c u, focus on scar and start shooting, and hope he wont have time to reload. u kill him that way but no one attacks u, u get his sword and war crossbow
Am I the only one who thinks that using a programming oversight to get the most powerful 1-handed weapon early in the game with no consequences after repeated failure isn't hardcore at all? I'm just tired of people walking around guildless at single-digit levels wearing Lares' axe or Scar's sword and acting like they are cool at hardcore. The original poster says that taking a merchant's inventory with Ice Block is a bug and thus not allowed, but that is nowhere near the advantage possessing a weapon that kills anything of your low level's reach in 1 hit provides. I suggest outlawing this practice and/or letting the player try this only once - that is, if you get knocked down you may not try again.
For hardcore G3, there is only one advice I can give you. Avoid fighting animals alone unless you have at least 400-500 HP, a good weapon and at least the medium armor of the faction of your choice - even then, only one at a time. Either take a companion like Cyrus or Copper or use the "tame animal" scroll you should find early to tame something like a ripperbeast (abundant even in the early game) or even better, a rhino if you can get so far as to find one.
@Alwin: The hardcore is a nice gaming experience. And I do not think of bug abusing as cheating and not hardcore. I think of it as something the game has to offer itself so you can use it against it. It is not our fault the game has glitches we discovered. Seriously, why make such a fuss about the parachute jumps or getting scar's sword when you're lvl 9? And it is quite possible in g1 to beat the living crap out of Scar without allowing him to touch you, while you're lvl 9. Trust me, I've done that a lot. All you need to do is master 1h, max out your str and for a beginner - steal a Battle Sword. Then go to the new camp, and beat the shit out of Lares. Get his axe and then do the same to Scar. Easy as 1-2-3.
I read about people getting knocked down repeatedly or shooting the victim from behind an obstacle, which is definitely an exploit that doesn't belong to hardcore. If you can knock them down in one try... well, that's still disputable IMO, but may be accepted. Having Scar's sword at level 9 still makes surviving hardcore much less of an achievement until the very late game - and in the late game dangers only come occasionally, like the first Free Mine encounter (and the original poster conveniently provided us a way to bypass that fight even - seriously, I don't think glitches are that necessary to survive. That fight was meant to be a challenge for those who were getting cocky by that point of the game, with 3 super-strong guards to be fought at once, and exploiting the game mechanics to bypass it by putting an invincible ally on them is not hardcore as far as I'm concerned).
Originally Posted by Dino
Parachute jumps? Because they're a bug. Don't say "oh, it's just a fall, I don't want to fail the challenge if I just have my weapon drawn and can use a bug to avoid it". That's like falling asleep on your keyboard and dying to a scavenger - be more careful.
I think of bug abusing as definite cheating, as you can see. If you discovered a bug that made you invincible without even having the marvin mode on, would you consider that a part of hardcore too?
How about just play the game realistically as possible in hardcore and never abuse bugs that you know of but if you accidentally get into a bug, let it slide.
But afaik that only becomes available in chapter 4.
Originally Posted by AngelOfGothic
Yes, but the cast time for Wave of Ice isn't all that short either, so in most cases Firestorm is actually superior to a combination of Wave of Ice and Wave of Death (and Firestorm does actually work against Kalom's novices).
Wave of Ice should give you the time to cast the Wave of Death
I'm not saying that Wave of Death is completely useless, I'm just saying that Uriziel is usually superior.
Yes, Ice Block is one of the most important spells in the game, but Wave of Ice has fewer uses because you need to be both close to a group of opponents and you need to cast it without being hit in the process. Therefore, the available scrolls should be more than sufficient, so Wave of Ice is no reason to train beyong the 4th circle.
Originally Posted by Dino
It's not about what is more advantageous, it's about what is a bug and what is not. In the G2 example, a merchant has two different inventories, one for trading and one that you can loot after you knock down or kill him. The game is supposed to switch to the looting inventory when the merchant dies, but due to an oversight of the programmers, this mechanism doesn't trigger if the merchant dies of the damage over time from Ice Block. That's clearly a bug.
Originally Posted by Alwin
In the case of Scar, the AI is working exactly as the programmers intended. Now the programmers possibly didn't realise that the way they set up the AI means that you can get strong weapons very early in the game, but calling that a bug would be equivalent to calling Zealot-bombing in Starcraft (dropping a Zealot in the middle of a Terran army to draw splash damage from Spider Mines and Siege Tanks, in order to damage the Terran army with it's own splash damage) a bug. In both cases it's not a bug, it's just a clever way to use the game's rules in a way that wasn't originally planned by the game's creators.
Now if you want to play the game without taking Scar's Sword you are of course free to do so. In fact, whenever I play hardcore these days, I impose some sort of limitation upon myself, such as not wearing any armour or completing the game within 5 hours or not spending any LPs.
I highly recommend doing something like this if you have already managed to beat the hardcore challenge, but this guide is primarily for people who are new to hardcore, so it describes the easiest and safest way of playing the game.
Because, personally, I don't want to see walkthrough information when taking in pointers for hardcore. Like I said, that's just my personal opinion.
Originally Posted by Der_Jonn
Currently, I don't recall any situation where I did, but I'll think of it. In G3, I did use the "stay down until allies clear up" exploit, if that counts, but otherwise I can't think of any.
Originally Posted by Dino
It's not our fault we're offered the ability to exploit bugs, but it is definitely our fault if we use it. If it weren't so, it'd sound like we'd be forced to exploit bugs, which only happens if the game is impossible to complete in a legit way. We all know that's not true, don't we?
Last edited by Blubbler; 22.08.2009 at 18:08.
B)In hardcore rules reloading is forbidden.If you died you will have to play next day.Also you are limited to save,you only are allowed to save a few times.
Originally Posted by Blubbler
#1: This is a no reloads game which means that whatever choices you make, you made 'em and that's it. You save when you stop playing and load when you start playing again. When you die it's game over.
Last edited by AngelOfGothic; 22.08.2009 at 17:42.