Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level

AuthorMessage
Ensign
Jul 28, 2012
11
Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
The companion Old Scratch has an (epic) ability called Bone Chant, what summons a Skeletal Pirate. Alas this pirate stays at level 6 during the game and is not levelling or scaling with the hero.
I am not sure, if that is bugged or working as intended. But it reduces the Skeletal Pirate's usefulness to zero after a while, as he can not survive even one battle round after level 20.

Developer
Re: Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
Fivehouse on Oct 21, 2012 wrote:
The companion Old Scratch has an (epic) ability called Bone Chant, what summons a Skeletal Pirate. Alas this pirate stays at level 6 during the game and is not levelling or scaling with the hero.
I am not sure, if that is bugged or working as intended. But it reduces the Skeletal Pirate's usefulness to zero after a while, as he can not survive even one battle round after level 20.
It's working as intended.

When you first get Old Scratch, the pirate summon is very powerful-- a no-brainer, really. But as you level up, you'll have to adjust your strategy to figure out When, Where, or even If it's worth using a turn to summon, or whether Old Scratch should be doing something else.

(And of course you'll find this is the case in all aspects of the game-- we expect you to learn and adapt new strategies as the game progresses.)

If you're accustomed to summoning the pirate into the enemy's ranks, try switching tactics and summoning him closer to your own side. This may help to keep him off the enemy's hit list for a bit longer, so that he can get in a few more shots and chip away at the enemy.

Because he goes on the turn before you, he will also trigger epic talents off the enemy-- first strikes, repel boarders, hold the line, overwatch, etc. That's one less epic talent trigger you'll have to worry about when it's your turn.

And even if he dies in one hit, that's one hit that wasn't aimed at you.

Eventually, Old Scratch will promote, and when he does, he'll get an upgraded Summon as well.

Ensign
Jul 28, 2012
11
Re: Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
Thanks for the reply.

It seems, Old Scratch has to be higher than 20 to get a promoted skeletal minion. Can't wait to see/get the upgrade.

Using the pet as a target dummy for epic abilities sounds like a nice plan, in theory. Alas I have no control over the skeletal pirate. Or did I miss something?
Like my animal pet he attacks at the very end of the round, after the NPCs and his target seems to be random. (Of course it could well be, that he always attacks Old Scratch's target and that I simply missed that.)
But it's true, sometimes the NPCs ignore him and he works like a tiny, tiny DoT. A bit like the shadowknight's early skeletal pet in EQ1.
Anyway, I am sorry, that my Old Scratch is sitting even behind Wing Chun in my crew because of his limited array of usefull epics. Still love his relaxed comments though.

Community Leader
Re: Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
Ratbeard on Oct 22, 2012 wrote:
It's working as intended.

When you first get Old Scratch, the pirate summon is very powerful-- a no-brainer, really. But as you level up, you'll have to adjust your strategy to figure out When, Where, or even If it's worth using a turn to summon, or whether Old Scratch should be doing something else.

(And of course you'll find this is the case in all aspects of the game-- we expect you to learn and adapt new strategies as the game progresses.)

If you're accustomed to summoning the pirate into the enemy's ranks, try switching tactics and summoning him closer to your own side. This may help to keep him off the enemy's hit list for a bit longer, so that he can get in a few more shots and chip away at the enemy.

Because he goes on the turn before you, he will also trigger epic talents off the enemy-- first strikes, repel boarders, hold the line, overwatch, etc. That's one less epic talent trigger you'll have to worry about when it's your turn.

And even if he dies in one hit, that's one hit that wasn't aimed at you.

Eventually, Old Scratch will promote, and when he does, he'll get an upgraded Summon as well.
The part about the Bone Chant skeleton triggering epic talents so we don't have to worry about them doesn't make sense - allies like that go at the end of each turn, after all the enemies have finished their actions.

Epic talents reset every turn, so even if he did go at the end of the same turn he was cast, by the time it's the players' turn again the enemies' talents have all reset and are ready to use against us again.

Chatroom Moderator - Pieces of Eight Radio
Ensign
Jun 12, 2008
9
Re: Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
Ratbeard on Oct 22, 2012 wrote:
It's working as intended.

When you first get Old Scratch, the pirate summon is very powerful-- a no-brainer, really. But as you level up, you'll have to adjust your strategy to figure out When, Where, or even If it's worth using a turn to summon, or whether Old Scratch should be doing something else.

(And of course you'll find this is the case in all aspects of the game-- we expect you to learn and adapt new strategies as the game progresses.)

If you're accustomed to summoning the pirate into the enemy's ranks, try switching tactics and summoning him closer to your own side. This may help to keep him off the enemy's hit list for a bit longer, so that he can get in a few more shots and chip away at the enemy.

Because he goes on the turn before you, he will also trigger epic talents off the enemy-- first strikes, repel boarders, hold the line, overwatch, etc. That's one less epic talent trigger you'll have to worry about when it's your turn.

And even if he dies in one hit, that's one hit that wasn't aimed at you.

Eventually, Old Scratch will promote, and when he does, he'll get an upgraded Summon as well.
Yes, the skeletal pirate is great as a meat shield.

No, the skeletal pirate does not go on the turn before you. He goes last in a turn: after pirates and companions, after NPCs and even after pets. It would be great if he did actually go first, but that's not how he currently works.

Ensign
Jun 08, 2011
25
Re: Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
I hate to disagree with you, Ratbeard old chap, but Old Scratch's summon does not improve when he promotes to Undead Bokor. It remains a level 6 skeletal pirate (who gets wiped out by a buffaloon on the same round he's summoned, before getting to act once).

My buccaneer's Old Scratch just got this promotion, so I could observe the problem directly.

Developer
Re: Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
Sierra Starsong on Oct 22, 2012 wrote:
The part about the Bone Chant skeleton triggering epic talents so we don't have to worry about them doesn't make sense - allies like that go at the end of each turn, after all the enemies have finished their actions.

Epic talents reset every turn, so even if he did go at the end of the same turn he was cast, by the time it's the players' turn again the enemies' talents have all reset and are ready to use against us again.
There's not really such a thing as "first" in a turn cycle that repeats in circles.

Epic talents reset at the beginning of the actor's turn. After the enemy goes, your summons get their turn. They'll trigger epic talents. You're up next, and the enemies have not yet had a turn to reset their counters.

I hate to disagree with you, Ratbeard old chap, but Old Scratch's summon does not improve when he promotes to Undead Bokor.

I hate when things aren't working the way I intended them to work, and I have no one to blame but myself. My (even more) evil twin must have done that.

Ensign
Jun 12, 2008
9
Re: Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
Ratbeard on Oct 23, 2012 wrote:
There's not really such a thing as "first" in a turn cycle that repeats in circles.

Epic talents reset at the beginning of the actor's turn. After the enemy goes, your summons get their turn. They'll trigger epic talents. You're up next, and the enemies have not yet had a turn to reset their counters.

I hate to disagree with you, Ratbeard old chap, but Old Scratch's summon does not improve when he promotes to Undead Bokor.

I hate when things aren't working the way I intended them to work, and I have no one to blame but myself. My (even more) evil twin must have done that.
Thank you for clarifying. So, if my skeletal pirate triggers a first strike from a mob then that mob's epic counter will not reset until the next time that mob acts? Makes sense in support of your previous statement.

Ensign
May 25, 2009
5
Re: Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
What is not to love about old scratch! You are not giving him the chance he deserves! Perhaps you are not training him to his best advantage. He is my first mate and he always comes thru for me. Rat beard should be proud of him. As far as bone chant, it serves the purpose. Again, check out the talents you give him, and train, train, train.

Ensign
Oct 01, 2010
5
Re: Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
Ratbeard on Oct 23, 2012 wrote:
There's not really such a thing as "first" in a turn cycle that repeats in circles.

Epic talents reset at the beginning of the actor's turn. After the enemy goes, your summons get their turn. They'll trigger epic talents. You're up next, and the enemies have not yet had a turn to reset their counters.

I hate to disagree with you, Ratbeard old chap, but Old Scratch's summon does not improve when he promotes to Undead Bokor.

I hate when things aren't working the way I intended them to work, and I have no one to blame but myself. My (even more) evil twin must have done that.
Thank you for clarifying this, but I do have a question does he at least learn a new skill? I notes allot of my Companions do not have skills at all some are crown Companions and no skills I just want to make sure he will at least get a new skill.

Ensign
Jun 08, 2011
25
Re: Old Scratch: Skeletal Pirate level
Yes, he does get new epic talents, and the spell Jobu's Breath added to his repertoire when he upgrades to undead bokor. I bought him the Mojo Echo talent (relentless for mages), and forget what the other epic I choose was.