Part 5: Special Feature: - The BattlefieldsSpecial Feature: - The Battlefields
Music: "Sacred Cult"
Sacred Cult - version 1 (Click here to download) (thanks to Grawl)
Sacred Cult - version 2 (Click here to download) (thanks to Grawl)
Battlefields are pocket dimensions unique to this game that you can visit. They contain random quests and random dungeons, and are a great source for items, potions, alchemy herbs, traps, experience, and gold.
You access them in each act by finding a Battlefield Key.
Each Battlefield, except Act 1 contains 6 dungeons (act 1 only has 3). The keys are numbered 1 through 6, and unlock all dungeons their number or lower (so you can miss some keys and still unlock all the dungeons). They only last for one act, so you lose all your keys and access to the Battlefields when you change acts, and you need to find new keys. This is slightly annoying sometimes because the last key is typically found very close to the end of the act, so you need to delay leaving to do the last dungeon.
Battlefield keys are hidden well. Thankfully, I have a very nice FAQ which points them out.
The game's story does not acknowledge the existence of the Battlefields, and neither will the characters I am adding voice to in my version. Sometimes characters may suddenly switch weapons and armor without warning between updates, that's often because of a Battlefield. I will not acknowledge that in the story.
The Battlefield Merchants
This is the first thing you see upon entering the Act 1 Battlefield. There are 4 merchants around, and a fifth a little ways off. These merchants stay mostly the same, including their name, appearance, training for all Battlefields. All five offer you a quest - either to locate an item, or to kill a monster (sometimes the monster has an item and you need to kill it).
The Merchants sometimes have a quirk, like surfer-speak, or Ye Olde English. It's usually different each act.
The items and monsters are always on the third floor of one of the dungeons, but which dungeon is random. There are 6 battlefields, but only 5 quests, so at least one dungeon will have a third level empty of anything interesting.
This one is named Annabelle. Her portrait is recycled from a Dwarven woman in Divine Divinity.
Hello! Are you interested in taking care of a little task for me?
What do you want me to do?
I have heared of an Astiewyr nearby who has an Ancient scroll, I need you to kill the $NPC an take the Ancient scroll from him!
Allright, I'll do it!
Heard is misspelled and she asks us to "kill the $NPC". That's about the level of quality you can expect from these random Battlefield quests. As I've said, there's a lack of polish evident in parts of the game.
Anabelle sells potions and alchemy herbs, and she teaches Survival skills: Alchemy Extract, Alchemy Combine, Backstab, Trading, Luck, Wisdom, Embellish Equipment, and Tracking.
I'm not actually sure of Elkar's gender.
You're the one with the Death Knight, right? The one with the flaming eyes? Tell me, does he blink his left eye when taking a left turn?
I don't think he would be amused hearing that one…
Does he need refills once in a while? Is it oil that keeps his eyes burning?
*Laughing* I hear the Blue Boar Inn is looking for an entertainer!
You sure seem to appreciate talent. I expect you would also appreciate the talents of the Wiseman's Belt of Surprize. Look around, you're sure to find it!
As you might have guessed, the "Wiseman's Belt of Surprize" is a randomly generated item. After the mid-second act, such items are obsolete and good only for selling.
Elkar sells rings, amulets, charms, Elemental Resistance Crystals, and caste weapons, and he can teach you magic spells: Elemental Attack Focussed, Elemental Defense Individual, Healing, Cure Poison, Remove Curse, Cure disease.
Brian's portrait is recycled from Jonas of Divine Divinity.
Hello sir, Imight have some usefull information for you…
What kind of information?
Recently I was informed that in this area, a powerfull artefact is hidden! The Earthworm's Strong sash of Swiftness, if I were you I'd go and look for it!
I left the "Imight" and "powerfull" in there on purpose.
Brian sells, armor, shields, rings and amulets, and he teaches Warrior Craftsmanship skills: Armor durability. Repair, Sharpen Weapon, Convert Fire Arrow, Convert Poison Arrow, and Convert Explosive Arrow.
I believe Olaf's portrait is recycled from Divine Divinity, I think he was a thuggish type.
Greetings adventurer. Say, you look like a tough one, could you find the Scorpion cage? A customer ordered it, but I daren't leave my tent.
Okay, where can I find this Scorpion cage?
My customer says it can still be found in a dungeon nearby… Please come see me when you've found it.
Olaf sells weapons, bows, and some arrows. He teaches melee and ranged combat specialties: One handed, Two-handed, With Shield, Bow, Crossbow, Fire Arrow Proficiency, Poison Arrow Proficiency, Explosive Arrow Proficiency
Follow the path to the northeast, and you'll find Keith, who is up there away from the other merchants for no good reason.
*Mumbling* Hm, this wanna-be hero should not be sent off to meet his doom, should he? *out Loud* Oh hello, dear traveler! Is there anything I can do for you?
You could stop misjudging me. What's this 'meeting my doom' business?
Well, I had been saving some information for real adventurers…
Let me assure you, I am as real as the muscles in my swordarm!
*Gulp* Oh, alright… Legends in this area speak of the Apprentice's Fighting Stick of the Imp. I'm sure you could use it… If you can find it.
Keith sells trap components, and arrows, LOTS of arrows. He teaches Thief-type skills: Pickpocket, Lockpick, Sneak, Poison, and Summoning Dolls Upgrades. But don't buy those, at the start of the maze you meet a trainer who can teach you all those up to level 10 for half the cost.
That's all there is to the "safe zone".
The safe zone ends at a bridge in the south. In other Battlefields, where a safe zone begins and ends is much less well-defined.
There are only Level 2 skeletons in this first Battlefield Dungeon zone. They're little threat except in very large numbers.
This strange-looking thing is an entrance/exit to the dungeon proper. Once you go in, everything inside is randomly generated, although it always fits into a rectangle-shaped dungeon.
The most dangerous part of the Battlefield dungeons is typically the first minute after entering a new level. On Hardcore it's especially dangerous because there are double the normal amount of enemies.
This is a "Castle Dungeon" themed Battlefield Dungeon. Other themes include "Dank cave, Sand Cave, Black Temple, and Citadel, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some.
There's no way to be sure of the way to the next level, so I typically head for the nearest edge and make a loop around, then work my way in until I find it.
There are occasional funny books to be found.
The "Castle Dungeon" style has a LOT of chests and barrels scattered around. Since none of them are locked (another reason why Lockpick is worthless), you can accumulate a lot of stuff.
When you get encumbered, just summon your Skeleton doll, load it up, and continue exploring! The skeleton can carry more than it can move with, but that doesn't matter because I don't need it to move.
After waaaaayyy too long, I finally find the way to the second level.
Entering a new floor is the most troublesome because you have nowhere safe to run to without leaving the floor. The exit back up to the second floor is a bit off to the right.
Imagine about 30 minutes of this, but with more opening of barrels and chests.
Here's some of the random placement at work.
This is the third and final level of the dungeon. It's a small, "+"-shaped area. Will I find a boss, or one or more of the quest items?
No boss, just this. I'll have the Death Knight equip it because it's better than his default Short Sword.
On the way out, I find this, which is a really good bow for Mort.
I also found an Orange-colour magic rung. Orange is the best kind, it has a LOT of magical modifiers. Eventually all our inventory will be made up of orange items.
*Mumbling* Oh boy, look at that big, self-confident smirk. Obviously succeeded… I'll have to listen to stories until I die from boredom.
I found the Apprentice's Fighting Stick of the Imp! The stories I could t…
I'm sure it's all been very heroic and adventurous, but that's not what I'm here for. Can I sell or teach you anything?
I think that's a good enough sample of what Battlefield dungeons are like to give you an idea.
The same shot, but with Mort wearing the black armor.
I haven't entered the maze, yet, and after the Battlefield dungeon, Mort and D.K. are now level 7. This means that the game's level scaling will have increased the level of the enemies in Samuel's maze.
Next time, Mort and D.K. tackle Samuel's maze.
I'm sure there are a bunch more things I didn't make clear about the battlefields, so feel free (in fact, PLEASE) ask lots of questions.
Alchemy Extract - Lets you combine two Alchemy herbs to create a potion. Herbs are very common random loot in chests and barrels, so this is a good skill to take. Teach it to your skeleton, it's the best use for the 4 skill points it gets.
Alchemy Combine - It lets you combine potions to make new potions, I think. I wouldn't bother with this.
Backstab - You have a TINY chance of causing a BIT of extra damage if you stab an enemy when it is facing away from you.
Trading - Increases the gold from trading. Not worth it.
Luck - Increases chances of criticals, better loot. Not worth it.
Wisdom - If you max this out, you MIGHT get one extra level over 30 levels. NOT worth it.
Embellish Equipment - Lets you increase the value of stuff for selling. Not worth it.
Tracking - Enemies show up on the minimap from father away. Not worth it.
Repair - Both of these are worthless, because aside from a short time at the start of a new act when you haven't acquired the Battlefield key, you can always do quick repairs by popping into a Battlefield merchant.
Sharpen Weapon - This is a good skill. It increases the damage of a weapon, but increases the agility requirement for it. You have to watch that, but if you keep decent agility, this is a great skill to have.
Convert X Arrow - These skills let you take stacks of Normal arrows and convert them into different types. Unfortunately, it takes a hefty investment to be worthwhile. You need 5 points to get a 20% conversion rate, so for every 100 Normal arrows you put in, you'll get back 20 special arrows. If you want to take this, you might want to take points into Pickpocket so you can steal stacks of arrows from merchants. Future acts increase the types of arrows you can convert. The Convert Power Arrow skill is bugged, though, it requires you to have one point into another Convert Arrow skill before it will work.
X Arrow Proficiency - Increases the damage you do with X type arrows. You won't have enough points to get them all, so choose wisely. Future acts increase the types of arrows available to become proficient in.