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Making the game more challenging: Avoiding Cheese:



  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited October 2013
    1. Use my Standard Array Challenge for any PC characters you make.

    It allows for creating good but not great characters and forces you to make hard decisions on which stats go where, and actually makes the racial/avenger penalties do something. Especially true for dual-class due to their higher minimum requirements.

    (guarantees you'll at least get a decent character comparable to the majority of NPCs vs using a unmodified random roll, which is also an option if you want something a little more hardcore).

    2. Limit yourself to resting only when the party is fatigued and only at an inn (or any area that specially mentions it's safe to rest there, like that warded room on the 1st floor of Watcher's Keep).

    3. Play on AT LEAST Core rules, and never reload. (Optionally, reload only in the event of the Bhaalspawn's death). You'll end up with less overall hp totals making everyone more fragile across the board, and run the risk of having to make due without certain spells if you use up all your scrolls failing to learn and can't find more. You'll also have to contend with the chance of permanent companion death. (Though it does give you an opportunity to experiment with spells/NPCs you'd normally never use due to potentially lacking ideal options).


    Those three will increase the challenge quite a bit, since your casters will have to ration their spells better, while your melee will have less then ideal, but still decent stats.


    4. Use mods that bring spells/abilities closer to PnP levels of power (RRB does A LOT for the thieves and bards...not perfect, but huge strides in the right direction and makes an excellent base for then adding your own tweaks), or mod them yourself if it's something simple to throw together.

    5. Define your own rule for what constitutes cheese, and stick with it.

    6. After all that, then start experimenting with difficulty/randomizer mods if it's still not challenging enough.

  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,355
    I finished my first BG2:EE run in 87 game days, which includes the 5 or 6 days that pass when you send Nanoc and his party on their "epic" quest in ToB, and managed to avoid using any of the following varieties of cheese:

    1. Shield of Balduran (yes, this makes Beholders, especially Elder Eyes, an actual challenge)
    2. Cloak of Mirroring (quite possibly the cheesiest item in the game)
    3. Cloak of Reflection
    4. Robe of Vecna (this evens the playing field with all of the other spellcasters in the game)
    5. Spamming of Traps (I rarely used them anyway)
    6. Resting in unsafe or hostile areas; resting when my party isn't fatigued.
    7. Spamming damage-inflicting spells with Spell Sequencers (e.g., x3 Flame Arrows or Skull Traps).
    8. Leveling-up during battles.
    9. Memorizing a spell (arcane or divine) more than twice. (Obviously, this isn't possible with Sorcerers).
    10. Cheese tactics, such as exploiting the stairs in the Demogorgon battle, leaving/reentering an area to disrupt enemy spellcasting, or casting multiple cloudkill/death fog/AoE spells prior to encountering enemies.

    Avoiding all the aforementioned cheese allowed my party to make good use of potions, scrolls, wands, and other magic items that would otherwise be unnecessary with the amount of cheese that's available in the game, as well as having to use different strategies. I played on Core rules the entire game (even accepting that I failed to scribe a Chain Contingency scroll!). It was a fun challenge!

    My starting and ending party (with ending levels) was:
    Mortianna, level 28 Necromancer
    Korgan, level 34
    Dorn, level 30
    Viconia, level 37
    Hexxat, level 39
    Edwin, level 26

  • BrudeBrude Member Posts: 560
    Mortianna said:

    1. Shield of Balduran (yes, this makes Beholders, especially Elder Eyes, an actual challenge)
    4. Robe of Vecna (this evens the playing field with all of the other spellcasters in the game)

    Interesting to note these two items weren't in the original game; they were part of the Collector's Edition & later made available via DLC. I had to fight those danged Beholders several times without the shield and I've never even seem the Robes of Vecna. Part of me thinks it's a shame they're both part of core content now.

    Looking at your list I think I must be the most unimaginative player out there. I either found certain mechanics too tedious to use (traps) or found them unsatisfying to use more than once (fireball/cloud kill into the fog of war).

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    For me the biggest cheese I've used recently (Note: BGEE not BG2EE) is casting Invis on whoever my thief is and having them go detect traps for the entire floor/dungeon (firewine ruins most recently) under the cover of invis. Literally the entire map.

    That being said, simply only reloading on character death for my archer has made the game incredibly different. That and not having sleep, nor the items or levels to cast free action yet to freely use web makes things interesting.

  • MaylanderMaylander Member Posts: 74
    Also, don't bring Keldorn or play an Inquisitor, as it trivializes half the challenging fights in the game. Luckily, I don't worry about such things, so I bring Keldorn along all the time.

  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,355
    @Dragonspear You consider that cheese? I say it's just a thorough scouting-job! ^.^ I think Farsight and Wizard Eye are a bit cheesy, but I still use them. They came in really handy with the new content.

  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    Hmm, a lot of those items I don't find that useful. Like the cloak of reflection - I can think of like... two times when lightning damage was a danger and even then I used a potion. The Shield of Balduran only lasts a few seconds before beholder telekinesis rips it from your hand. Same with the cloak of mirroring, though it's pretty awesome against stuff like ADHW. Still, even without those items I never fight beholders "fairly", like going in unbuffed and just tanking their hits, because that gets you killed in seconds if you're not high level with awesome saving throws. They're so dangerous that any strategy you use against them is going to have to be a little underhanded, so fighting them is more tedious than difficult.

    The Robe of Vecna I know is very good, and it's probably my own fault that I don't know how to use it to maximum effect. Having instant spells is nice but with IA up I just don't have anything to cast. Anything that's vulnerable to spell damage dies to chain contingency already, and if it isn't then throwing the rest of my spellbook at it won't change things.

    I relentlessly abuse casting from out of sight, though. I mean, I have a scouting thief for a reason. Might as well use the intelligence he provides.

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