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Assassin or shadowdancer?

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Comments

  • cbarchukcbarchuk Member Posts: 322
    Thanks for the info Dark. I've been looking for some opinions on the Shadowdancer from folks who have played it extensively. You expressed some of my worries as well.

  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    Impressions...Assassin is better. Can do traps, can poison, can fight better (innate +1hit/+1dmg is like having a second * in every weapon).

  • elementelement Member Posts: 833
    edited December 2013
    shadow dancer feels super cheesy to me in bg1 because the enemy just cant cope in any way with the hide in plain sight mechanic. Seriously the ai just isn't good to enough to deal with that ability you may not get back stab but pick up the dagger of venom and you'll still just be wiping out most things with absolute ease

    on the whole id say its pretty tedious to use which is a shame because I like the class. I think its a solid choice but I find assassin to be much more fun

    syllog
  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639
    If it weren't for the nerfed Backstab and inability to set traps I'd say Shadow Dancer could have been decent. But for a pure thief to lose on any of those for a stealth-based character is crippling. Like I said, go any other thief if you want a backstabber. You're better off using Shadow Dancer to practice backstabbing tactics and angles, then practicing with another thief to try out hit-and-fade tactics.

  • cbarchukcbarchuk Member Posts: 322
    What's the better race for an assassin? I used to think elf but I'm starting to lean towards halfling.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    edited December 2013
    @Cbarchuk

    I'd argue Elves since they get bonus thac0 with bows, longswords and shortswords (all available early). Halflings are also a great choice since you get very few thieving points early.

    I guess it falls down to whether or not you wanna bring another thief to pick up the slack (then go elf), or if you wanna run as the only thief (go halfling and use stealth boosting items).

    Edit: Forgot half-orc..........backstabbing with 19 str (+3 to hit, +7 damage)

  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639

    @Cbarchuk

    I'd argue Elves since they get bonus thac0 with bows, longswords and shortswords (all available early). Halflings are also a great choice since you get very few thieving points early.

    I guess it falls down to whether or not you wanna bring another thief to pick up the slack (then go elf), or if you wanna run as the only thief (go halfling and use stealth boosting items).

    Edit: Forgot half-orc..........backstabbing with 19 str (+3 to hit, +7 damage)

    Yeah but you can get the 19 or higher strength really easily through other means (with strength boosting equipment, Tomes in BG1, or through other means in BG2 (two strength boosting opportunities available, though one of them makes you evil). I'm one of those guys who kind of wants to avoid using Half-Orcs for thieves unless you're multi-classing (like the super awesome Cleric/Thief).

    elminster
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    @GamingFreak

    In most of these threads I aim from a pure level 1 perspective. Often times those first few levels are the hardest as you're waiting for items, tomes, hp, etc.

    jackjack
  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639
    @Dragonspear true, from level 1 a half-orc is a useful thief for the thac0 bonus from 19 strength alone. But my opinion is that a thief shouldn't even be in the fray backstabbing at low levels anyway, he should be using a bow and pelting things from a distance. There's nothing wrong with going that route though, since Assassins don't have much in terms of thieving in any other way thanks to their low skill point progression.

    I'd still say Elves are the best though because those bonuses to longswords and short swords stack a lot with the other bonuses you can get with magic weapons, stealth, and with the eventual strength boosts.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    I definitely agree that elves make the best assassins as most of the elven bonuses continue to be useful late game.

  • cbarchukcbarchuk Member Posts: 322
    What about the better thieving bonuses and shorty saves that halfings get. Are they worth it at all?

  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639
    cbarchuk said:

    What about the better thieving bonuses and shorty saves that halfings get. Are they worth it at all?

    they're nice for sure, but I'd say Halflings are more those thieves that are good for holding back and shooting stuff with missle weapons than front-line fighting; at least until they get 18 or higher strength via some form of boost. On top of that, if you want a backstabber at all as a pure thief, you want as many thac0 bonuses as you can get. And besides that, Assassins have crap thief skill progression no matter how you slice the pie, so you're bound to invest in only one or two skills outside of HIS/MS, and Elves get only a slightly smaller bonus in these two skills compared to halflings.

    Either race can work, but Elves are definitely *meatier* than halflings.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    I'd go with halfling, assassins get crap for thief skills and halfling will help you get your stealth and other skills to a useful level quicker.

    Shorty saves are amazing too, especially for a thief. As a pure thief your saving throws are quite awful (you cap out at 8 vs death, 11 vs breath where a fighter would have 3 and 4 respectively) so the bonus is really helpful. This is why Mazzy and Korgan can walk through enemy dragonbreath HLAs while mages get blown across the room.

    Strength is expendable because of all the strength items you can get though it does suck a bit early on. It can be worked around and it's not a bad trade in my opinion for +1 dex.

  • ReadingRamboReadingRambo Member Posts: 598
    Shadowdancer is just so fun. Assassin may have more damage potential, but hide in plain sight is more fun than chugging invis potions imo. There's a rhythm to it that seems fluid; cast spell, vanish, flank, backstab, cast, vanish, assist party etc.

    jackjackelminster
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,251
    Agreed - I have no trouble dealing damage in this game, so extra power isn't really a concern of mine. To each his or her own, of course.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    With the fix to elven charm/sleep resist, I like them a lot more in the early game than halflings.

    In my opinion, the key things you need to worry about are levels 1-4 and levels 10-12. These roughly correspond with the extremely early parts of BGEE and BG2EE, where items and gold are at a premium.

    Level 1-4, Halfling and Elf will be similar, as you'll most likely be using primarily missile weapons. If you use a sling for a halfling you get a thac0 bonus equal to that of an elf with a bow. But a bow gets an extra attack per round, which can be very important when you add in poison.

    Level 10-12: While the charm resist is nice again here, the halfling saves will start to shine. That said, your halfling will be stuck at 18 str early (if you used a tome) and your elf will have 19 str, so quicker backstabs to make those saves less needed.

    Overall, I feel that elf is the more offensive option, while halfling is the more utility/defensive/all around option.

    DarkDoggjackjackEudaemoniumthespace
  • DarkDoggDarkDogg Member Posts: 598
    edited December 2013
    cbarchuk said:

    What about the better thieving bonuses and shorty saves that halfings get. Are they worth it at all?

    Halflings +10% and +15% to HiD and SM. (+40% overall bonuses)
    Elves +15% and +15% to HiD and SM. (+60% overall bonuses) +20% to pickpokets =) Nice one. While halflings only 5%.
    Elves get 90% resistance to sleep and charm. And still you can get 19 str.
    And keep in mind that bow THAC0 > sling THAC0. You know all this arrows - dispelling, biting, piercing and etc =)
    This things are better then saving throw bonuses.
    And for my assassin I always put a point in daggers for throwing poison daggers in BG2 (watch clerics and druids suffer, while mages lying dead - face in the dirt from a strong BS) and single weapon style for melee. I often go melee with the assassin. Can't say the same about shadowdancer. Besides if you're a human shadowdancer you'll get -2 thac0 with melee in general using the best short and long swords. But still you can dual class into a mage with a x2 backstab lol.
    Worrying about saving throws? Go evil and get human flesh =)

  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,251
    edited December 2013

    With the fix to elven charm/sleep resist, I like them a lot more in the early game than halflings.

    In my opinion, the key things you need to worry about are levels 1-4 and levels 10-12. These roughly correspond with the extremely early parts of BGEE and BG2EE, where items and gold are at a premium.

    Level 1-4, Halfling and Elf will be similar, as you'll most likely be using primarily missile weapons. If you use a sling for a halfling you get a thac0 bonus equal to that of an elf with a bow. But a bow gets an extra attack per round, which can be very important when you add in poison.

    Level 10-12: While the charm resist is nice again here, the halfling saves will start to shine. That said, your halfling will be stuck at 18 str early (if you used a tome) and your elf will have 19 str, so quicker backstabs to make those saves less needed.

    Overall, I feel that elf is the more offensive option, while halfling is the more utility/defensive/all around option.

    I simply cannot say it any better than this. Very well put!

    Post edited by jackjack on
  • HandofTyrHandofTyr Member Posts: 106
    Do halflings even get better bonuses? Looking at the character generation screen elves have them covered in terms of bonuses. Just adding up the points dwarves and gnomes get the most bonus thief points, but once the extra dex is taken into account it evens out (and the dwarf and gnome bonuses are in places that more or may not be useful to you- ie detect illusion and set traps).

  • DarkDoggDarkDogg Member Posts: 598
    HandofTyr said:

    Do halflings even get better bonuses? Looking at the character generation screen elves have them covered in terms of bonuses. Just adding up the points dwarves and gnomes get the most bonus thief points, but once the extra dex is taken into account it evens out (and the dwarf and gnome bonuses are in places that more or may not be useful to you- ie detect illusion and set traps).

    DEX AC bow THAC0 Reaction Open Locks Find Traps Pickpocket Move Silently Hide in Shadows Detect Illusion Set Traps:
    18 -4 +2 +2 +15% +5% +10% +10% +10% 0% +5%
    19 -4 +3 +3 +20% +10% +15% +15% +15% 0% +10%
    20 -4 +3 +3 +25% +15% +20% +18% +18% 0% +15%
    21 -5 +4 +4 +30% +20% +25% +20% +20% 0% +20%

    So no big deal here.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    @Dragonspear Good points, and elf does have its merits. I don't think either race is strictly better but I still prefer halflings. They have several early game advantages that might not be obvious:

    It's not just slings - halflings get a thac0 bonus to darts as well, and those are easily the best ranged weapon for a newbie assassin. 3 attacks/round for use with your poison weapon, and very low speed factor making it easy to kite with compared to bows. The speed factor is quite important if you're soloing because you generally don't have time to stand still and unleash a full round's worth of attacks.

    For low levels, thieving skills are my main consideration because I use my thief as a scout. If I see anything dangerous I put them to to sleep with the wand. The only time he's ever in danger is if he fails a stealth check, so having enough stealth is very important. Alternatively you can put the points into lockpicking and get a big gold boost from Candlekeep/Beregost. That might be a better way to go, as you can solve most early game issues by throwing gold at it.

    Strength in BG2: I agree the elf does a little more damage early on, but I feel this is a pretty small advantage - I would gladly trade a point of strength for +5 to saves. You have DUHM if you really need the strength, or several other buffs if you run out (mage Strength, cleric Strength of One). Strength is a big deal for a warrior because they can apply their strength bonus multiple times a round (via APR) but the damage isn't multiplied by your backstab so it's not a big loss for a thief. Even if you have no strength bonus, a x4 or x5 backstab does a lot of damage. I don't think there are many things that will die to a 19 strength backstab that will survive an 18 strength one.

    jackjackelminster
  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    @Nano

    If they do get bonus to darts (I've heard this from others as well, but admittedly haven't checked myself), then yes they do get a benefit there. It does not appear when you look over the races at character select however.

    As far as the strength goes, usually my assassins don't have DuHM cause I play them evil =/ And I do agree about scouting being super important if you play right. Personally I prefer elf, but both have their merits and it really is up to the player.

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,684
    shadow dancer has 3 primary attributes to dual class, Str, Dex and Charisma, if you want to dual to a mage either you have 95+ pts in the character or you don't.

  • cbarchukcbarchuk Member Posts: 322
    I don't think halflings get the dart THACO bonus in BG2 EE.

    Quartz
  • cbarchukcbarchuk Member Posts: 322
    Well I just made two 21st level assassins. One an elf and the other a halfling. Assuming tome bonuses from BG1, both don't seem that much different. The Elf has 1 point higher THACO and damage while the halfling has smidge higher thieving bonuses and a 5 point higher bonus in a couple of the saving throws especially the nasty save vs spell.

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,684
    Well, this post gave me an idea anyway, gonna try an Dual Class Shadow Dancer (13)/ Fighter longbow focused. Just a question, i have 18 constitution, but i don't receive now, of course, the extra constitution life bonus cos atm i'm only a thief, when i make the dual class, will the fighter special bonus from constitution be applicable?

  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,851
    @kamuizin No you will not because you are already up to Level 13 on Shadow Dancer.

    jackjack
  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    cbarchuk said:

    I don't think halflings get the dart THACO bonus in BG2 EE.

    They definitely get it in BG1 EE.

    Quartzjackjack
  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,684
    Quartz said:

    @kamuizin No you will not because you are already up to Level 13 on Shadow Dancer.

    Hmm, so i see, the level up in fighter class while the thief one is innactive will not give retrospective HP, like we get when we raise constitution? I will correct any flaw with EE Shadow Keeper then.

  • cbarchukcbarchuk Member Posts: 322
    Hey does anyone know a good name for an evil halfling assassin? For the life of me I can't think of anything good.

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