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Why does everyone say Viconia is the best cleric?

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  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,099
    As a note to add to the OP's question:

    Viconia has 19 Dex, but horrible strength and constitution. Crom Faeyer gives her 25 strength and there is a girdle that gives her 18 Con for 12 hours (more than enough time). So her stats quite easily turn into:

    Strength: 25
    Dexterity: 19
    Constitution: 18
    Intelligence: 16
    Wisdom: 18
    Charisma: 14
    Magic Resistance: 65!

    Granted, with the same equipment Anomen (and the gauntlets of dexterity) gets:

    Strength: 25
    Dexterity: 18
    Constitution: 18
    Intelligence: 10
    Wisdom: 16
    Charisma: 13
    Magic Resistance: 0

    He'll hit harder due to his fighter levels, but he has 1 point less in Dexterity, 2 points less in Wisdom, and has 0 magic resistance.


    So if you want a cleric who will do some damage in close combat, Anomen is a good choice. But if you want a pure cleric who can cast lots of spells and can tank really well, Viconia has him beat. Walking into combat with perfect cleric stats, great AC, high HP, and an easily attainable 100% magic resistance...yeah, Viconia can be a beast.

    elminsterdunbarJuliusBorisovMathsorcerer
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,944
    edited November 2015
    Probably worth noting that Anomen will have quite a bit more health than Viconia. Like Anomen9 (one of the version you are likely to come across when you run into him) starts with 99 health. By comparison Viconia9 (which for argument sake is a comparable character file, though that may be slightly off) has 48.

    When Anomen casts Draw Upon Holy Might its true he won't benefit from the dexterity boost until he either boosts his base dexterity (through like the gauntlets) or gets to level 15. But its also true that he will get a bonus of 21 health even just being at level 9 (since he has those fighter levels he gets the boost they provide for a constitution score above 16). So Anomen just from the start has quite a bit more health than Viconia. Between Full Plate Mail, a good shield, and the numerous defensive spells clerics have I don't think Viconia's AC difference really is nearly that significant (at least compared to the health difference). Especially since enemy Thac0 in SoA in particular generally kind of sucks in comparison to the AC your frontliners have.

    Post edited by elminster on
    JuliusBorisovbob_veng
  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited November 2015
    It all depends on what you think the perfect cleric should be, really. Contrary to popular belief not all D&D clerics are musclebound melee weapon and shield-users with spells. There are also clerics who focus on the defensive/casting aspect of the class. In D&D lore examples include Goldmoon and Elistan.

    Anomen is the former. Viconia is the latter. Anomen works for people who need the extra frontline muscle, Viconia works for people who value the extra survivability (higher AC/MR) and marginally higher starting level (hasted Aerial Servants with their crushing attacks own low level clerics any day BTW, and Viconia gets them faster).
    It's ridiculous to argue that clerics are only good for casting self-buffs. The cleric has plenty of party-wide buffing/support spells, summoning spells and offensive spells.
    Anyway both can have decent STR/DEX/CON with items (Mauler's Arm, etc).

    End game both are capable fighters. STR/DEX/CON are not an issue with strength belts, dexterity gauntlets, constitution belts, potions and Draw Upon Holy Might (which is why I don't bother giving -any- cleric or paladin with spellcasting Crom Faer).
    Viconia usually ends up using debuff items like the Flail of the Ages in my groups, mostly because she only needs to do enough attacks to proc its slow effect. If I really needed her to deal damage for some reason then I just have her use Energy Blades (you want APR? I'll show you APR).
    I normally don't bother with Anomen since he does not mesh well with the type of NPCs I usually bring with me, but I don't doubt that played to his strengths and with the right party composition he has his place.

    JuliusBorisov
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,586
    edited November 2015
    Ammar said:



    3. Physical offense

    Viconia just can't hope to compete. Anomen can reach grand-mastery and has + 1/2 APR from his fighter class. This means 2.5 APR vs 1 APR when not dual-wielding plus damage boni and higher hit rate from specialization. That means Anomen probably deals at least three times the damage of Viconia. With cleric buffs he is easily able to hit even in late ToB, so you can't argue that it does not matter. And his damage output is still very close to a true fighter, so I don't think "some damage" is an accurate description.

    With dual-wielding the math is more complex, we get 3.5 APR vs 2 APR which looks slightly better for Viconia. But then you remember that Anomen has less penalties and that the main hand weapon is the one dealing more damage, so it works out similar --> MAJOR win for Anomen.

    EDIT: The below is incorrect, so ignore that. The almighty @elminster has spoken! :)

    I sometimes forget what is vanilla and what is mods, but Anomen can't get GM since he's already dualclassed when you meet him and thus stuck at progressin as a cleric onwards. Earlier versions of the game allowed you to continue progressing as a fighter, but that was changed in a patch, wasn't it?

    (Edit: FYI, I have an older version installed due to no internet connection for my gaming comp and have a couple of mods installed as well, like the tweakpack etc, so I'm not sure how the latest patches work.)

    Post edited by Skatan on
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,581
    They simply do not fit the same role, no matter their class. The best comparison IMHO with other classes would be Kensai vs Dwarven Defender. Both are ->Fighter<- kit yet they do not fit the same role at all.
    The same goes for Viccy and Anomen.
    Viccy is more of a backline support. As a Cleric she gets many many spells and will hardly ever run out of spells before a battle is over, which is why I find irrelevant to mention her fighting abilities. Anomen, on the other hand, will hardly use any spell midfight except DuHM, and will primarily use buffs before the fight and then go melee.
    With Viccy I rarely ever use my level 2spells except a couple of chants, and the very situationnal slow poison. However I do spam my level 3 spells, animate dead mostly, occasionnally dispel magic.
    With Anomen it is the other way round. I only use DuHM and use it very often as a level 2 spell, and barely ever make use of level 3 spells.
    A cleric gets enough spells to hold an entire fight without going melee, simply spamming supportive/offensive spells, or enough buffs to be a melee beast if he has some fighter levels, but still both are clerics. Viccy and Anomen perfectly illustrate this dual nature of cleric. Though in my opinion a Paladin fits better the idea of a Fighter/Cleric roleplay-wise

    P.S. Viccy>Anomen because she is not a douchebag

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 951
    Skatan said:

    Ammar said:



    3. Physical offense

    Viconia just can't hope to compete. Anomen can reach grand-mastery and has + 1/2 APR from his fighter class. This means 2.5 APR vs 1 APR when not dual-wielding plus damage boni and higher hit rate from specialization. That means Anomen probably deals at least three times the damage of Viconia. With cleric buffs he is easily able to hit even in late ToB, so you can't argue that it does not matter. And his damage output is still very close to a true fighter, so I don't think "some damage" is an accurate description.

    With dual-wielding the math is more complex, we get 3.5 APR vs 2 APR which looks slightly better for Viconia. But then you remember that Anomen has less penalties and that the main hand weapon is the one dealing more damage, so it works out similar --> MAJOR win for Anomen.

    I sometimes forget what is vanilla and what is mods, but Anomen can't get GM since he's already dualclassed when you meet him and thus stuck at progressin as a cleric onwards. Earlier versions of the game allowed you to continue progressing as a fighter, but that was changed in a patch, wasn't it?

    (Edit: FYI, I have an older version installed due to no internet connection for my gaming comp and have a couple of mods installed as well, like the tweakpack etc, so I'm not sure how the latest patches work.)
    I could last time I played it. It also works with Shar-Teel in BG1. Anyway, even without that 0.5 APR from GM the argument is still valid.

    @Arunsun
    The problen with your argument is that you can use Anomen in the same role you see for Viconia and he is just as good as it. Holy smite offsets the missing spells. He is just more flexible. When comparing Kensaid and DD each have their niche. Viconia has no niche that Anomen can't fill as well.

    @Nuin

    Both Goldmoon and Elistan were capable in combat. Gunthar for example says that Elistan reminds him of the old warrior priests from the legends which would ride into batlle with the knights.

    Anyway, obviously there are other examples like clerics of Sune. But there are other disconnects between the lore and the rules. Neither Drizzt nor Artemis fit well with the rules at the time.

    The rules clearly give clerics a secondary role as capable combatants.


  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,944
    edited November 2015
    Skatan said:


    I sometimes forget what is vanilla and what is mods, but Anomen can't get GM since he's already dualclassed when you meet him and thus stuck at progressin as a cleric onwards. Earlier versions of the game allowed you to continue progressing as a fighter, but that was changed in a patch, wasn't it?

    (Edit: FYI, I have an older version installed due to no internet connection for my gaming comp and have a couple of mods installed as well, like the tweakpack etc, so I'm not sure how the latest patches work.)

    Vanilla bg2 lets dual class characters advance a weapon into grandmastery as long as their new class exceeds their fighter class by 1 level.

    Skatan
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,581
    @Ammar : Not true. The additionnal spells are a thing early game but they are about worthless lategame. But the 65% MR? It is ALWAYS useful, even more so because you can reach 100% undispellable MR fairly easily with Viconia (Gaxx+Seldarine+ Silver dragon armor for example). Buff her with physical mirror or give her Shield of Reflection and there is nothing that will be able to disrupt her.
    Anomen on the other hand will need ->Dispellable<- buffs to avoid magical attacks and disablers.
    He is much easier to disrupt than Viccy, which is mostly why Viconia is widely prefered as a defensive caster.
    Once again I do not deny Anomen's potential. He is a great melee fighter and a decent cleric. Viconia is a great cleric.

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,586
    elminster said:



    Vanilla bg2 lets dual class characters advance a weapon into grandmastery as long as their new class exceeds their fighter class by 1 level.

    ^- This includes BG2:EE? When I said vanilla, I meant an unmodded BG2:EE and not original BG2.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    It seems to me that the basic divide here is between people who regard a Cleric's role as all about casting (so that physical combat ability isn't really the point), and people who regard combat ability as also an integral part of the Cleric's job description (and therefore part of the comparison). Obviously your stance on that issue affects your playing-style, and it may also be affected by your playing-style.

    The comparison between Viconia and Anomen in pure casting-power is marginal: Viconia has a couple of extra spells, and that's handy, but Anomen has Holy Smite which is much more useful than Viconia's Unholy Blight. Both eventually end up with so many spells (far more than any Mage) that they're very strong casters. I might award a tiny win to Viconia on that one, but I could be persuaded to call it a draw.

    The much more significant differences are that Viconia has her innate Magic Resistance, and Anomen has his combat ability. If you don't regard combat ability as a legitimate factor in the comparison, then Viconia's MR carries the day and she's clearly "the best Cleric". If you do take combat ability into account, then it's a closer call, but I'd award the win to Anomen as "the best Cleric".

    Either way, however, both are fine Clerics who can do an excellent job. Which to choose should be governed more by who fits in better with the rest of your party, not worrying about which might be slightly "better" as a stand-alone character - after all, neither Viconia nor Anomen will be soloing the game, so party fit will always matter.

    Personally, I lean to the view that combat ability is part of a Cleric's job, although I understand those who don't agree. And I typically play on the Good side, but sometimes I do an Evil run. Thus for me, Anomen is more often "the best Cleric" for the particular party I'm playing, but for some of my other parties, Viconia is "the best Cleric". And sometimes I'll have a Cleric protagonist and won't need either of them. And sometimes I'll take neither, but might instead (for example) take Aerie as a back-up Cleric supporting a Druid as primary divine caster. And sometimes, for role-playing reasons, I'll deliberately make a choice which is sub-optimal in power-gaming terms. And so on.

    Really, once you've noticed that Anomen and Viconia are both fine Clerics who can do the job very well, arguing details of which is "better" serves little purpose.

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    edited November 2015
    Skatan said:

    elminster said:



    Vanilla bg2 lets dual class characters advance a weapon into grandmastery as long as their new class exceeds their fighter class by 1 level.

    ^- This includes BG2:EE? When I said vanilla, I meant an unmodded BG2:EE and not original BG2.
    Yes, unmodded BG2ee allows a dual-classed Fighter->(whatever) to build up to Grandmastery (as was also the case in original BG2). This is a significant part of what makes Fighter (or Fighter kit) duals so powerful in BG, so there'd be lots of people screaming if the devs nerfed it. In particular, it's what enables Anomen to remain fairly good at combat even in the later stages of the game.

    IIRC, IWDee is different (as original IWD also was) and only allows a dual to have Grandmastery if s/he already has it before dualling.

    Skatan
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,524
    It's worth pointing out that Viconia is more more item-dependent than most characters. The resources you expend to get a hold of the Girdle of Fortitude, Mauler's Arm, DoE, the Human Flesh +5 (only available in Chapter 6!), and so forth, could be instead used on another character. Making Viconia tough will leech resources from the party, more so than another character. It's worth it, but there's an opportunity cost to consider.

    STR items on Viconia are more useful for letting her wear full plate, not for enhancing her damage output. With her 1 base APR, STR-boosting items and spells have less effect. Contrast that with Anomen, who gets more mileage out of STR thanks to his higher APR, or Aerie, who can use ogre form via Polymorph Self, which does 20 damage unbuffed, but 33 damage with Righteous Magic (the ogre form even in EE does 4d6 damage, not 1d10).

    I would point to Aerie as the best cleric. Her access to Stoneskin and Mirror Image render her nearly impervious to disruption, even more so than AC, and her mage buffs can cover the few vulnerabilities that clerics possess. I play with SCS, and enemy Remove Magic spells will regularly debuff Viconia and Anomen if they are not kept far away from the battle. I also play no-reload runs, when even 70 MR in Chapter 2 isn't enough to rely upon.

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited November 2015
    No, it's not just about Anomen's extra 1.5 attack and Viconia's MR. It's also about the PLAYSTYLE. A dedicated melee cleric plays VERY differently from a cleric who doesn't.
    This is what we've been trying to tell you people.

    How exactly is Anomen supposed to fully replace Viconia in early game if Viconia starts with higher spell levels has the potential get higher level spells earlier? Would you really play early-mid game Anomen as a second-line fighter with little to no focus on self buffs? Seriously?

    You would play Anomen as a cleric who spends more time re-positioning and casting party-wide buffs during combat (Defensive Harmony, Chant, buffs with low duration) instead of just standing still, hitting stuff? You would really play him as we would play Viconia by late game, so he spends most of his time in combat casting offense/summoning/support spells and using spells like Energy Blades?

    Then why exactly are you people arguing that Anomen's extra melee attacks are worth anything?

    You do know that every moment those extra attacks are not being used, your Anomen becomes more and more like an inferior Viconia. You people are defeating your own argument here. Why would you claim that Anomen's extra attacks are worth anything if you're using him in a way that prevents him from making the most out of those extra attacks?

    @Ammar
    Of course all clerics can be capable combatants. Did you miss the part where I pointed out that late game clerics don't need Crom Faer and can potentially max out Str/Dex Con?
    But they're not like that all the time, are they? Exactly. It's that way with Goldmoon and Elistan.
    They're not like the -other- cleric stereotype that actively seeks out opponents in melee combat and attempts to overpower them using a combination of buff spells and an offense spell or two.

    @semiticgod
    Viconia is about as item-dependent as anyone else. If you get Viconia that usually means you're after her survivability and spell level advantage (or you think Anomen is a douche, +1).
    Anyway she comes with those things automatically. So why is it a big deal that you fully equip her ASAP? By end-game you will have more than enough items to equip everyone well.
    And "leech resources" "more so than any other character"?
    Are you trying to turn her into a melee tank or something? Because if that's what you're doing you hiring the wrong NPC for the job.

    Post edited by Nuin on
  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Nuin said:

    You would play Anomen as a cleric who spends more time re-positioning and casting party-wide buffs during combat (Defensive Harmony, Chant, buffs with low duration) instead of just standing still, hitting stuff? You would really play him as we would play Viconia by late game, so he spends most of his time in combat casting offense/summoning/support spells and using spells like Energy Blades?

    With the way casting and attacking works in BG, this isn't an either/or proposition. Defensive Harmony, for instance, only has a casting time of 1, so Anomen can easily fire that off in the middle of a scrum and resume whacking people over the head.

    And of course, the converse is true. Are you really having Viconia cast a spell every single second of every round in combat? Every moment she's not casting a spell, she becomes more and more like an inferior Anomen.

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited November 2015
    Actually, no. At a mere 1.5 extra attacks per round it's Anomen who's in trouble if he doesn't meet that roundly quota.

    That's gonna be tricky considering how much time we waste in this game casting spells/recovering from spellcasting/running around, don't you think? Not to mention that with Energy Blades Viconia can close that APR gap very quickly.
    Tick-tock, Anomen.

    The playstyle thing starts to seem a little forced now, doesn't it? Anomen needs to be played certain way to make those extra attacks count. In a nutshell, he needs to constantly be at the frontlines hitting stuff. So if you don't play Anomen to his strengths...

    Viconia's more straightfoward. Cast spell->accomplish key objective (disable enemy/heal someone/buff allies/summon creatures/etc). Rinse, repeat. Use weapon to debuff or hit stuff if spells not required. Use Energy Blades if you need extra DPS, for some reason.

    Post edited by Nuin on
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,944
    edited November 2015
    Skatan said:

    elminster said:



    Vanilla bg2 lets dual class characters advance a weapon into grandmastery as long as their new class exceeds their fighter class by 1 level.

    ^- This includes BG2:EE? When I said vanilla, I meant an unmodded BG2:EE and not original BG2.
    Yes. It was actually introduced in the BG2 engine. So BG1 and IWD (the original games) work as you described.

    Skatan
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    What level a character is when recruited obviously depends upon the order in which you explore the city, and so on. In my experience, however, I tend to get Anomen at a higher Cleric level than Viconia, not lower as seems to be some other people's experience, even though I'll usually meet Anomen earlier. YMMV, and it makes little difference after the first few quests, but (for example) Anomen9 comes with 11 levels of Cleric and Viconia9 comes with 9 levels of Cleric.
    Nuin said:

    It's also about the PLAYSTYLE.

    I stressed that point too, even though we don't seem to agree on some of the implications.
    Nuin said:

    Then why exactly are you people arguing that Anomen's extra melee attacks are worth anything?

    But Anomen's extra attacks aren't just melee attacks, his APR applies to ranged attacks too. He's very good with a Sling (and especially so when your front-liners don't need the Gauntlets of DEX).

    I don't have a very rigid style, I sometimes vary how I use a character depending upon who else I've got with me - most of the NPCs can be used productively in more than one way.

    Nevertheless, I most often use Anomen and Viconia in a fairly similar way: positioned in the second row, casting spells as appropriate and attacking with a Sling between spells. There's little to choose between them as casters (unless you've hired one at a markedly higher level than the other - which might be Anomen just as easily as Viconia), so the main difference (as I've previously said) is Viconia's MR versus Anomen's superior combat performance (and most of the time, in most of my parties, that's with his Sling). Anomen really is dangerous with a decent Sling (especially by late-SoA when he hits Grandmastery with Slings!), and I don't think it's at all unreasonable for many people to rate that (and his melee ability when necessary) as even more advantageous than Viconia's MR.

    As we've both said, the balance of advantage depends upon playing style.

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited November 2015
    Viconia's starting cleric level has always been higher than Anomen's in my games. That's a big part of her appeal. She always gets spells like Aerial Servants faster, which plays a big role in catapulting everyone to HLA-gaining levels that much sooner.
    I have been playing this game on and off for more than a decade and after always doing quests a certain way you develop a kind of milestone system. Like after doing Nalia's keep, you have an idea of how much XP everyone has and what their abilities are. Because my groups always have a strong melee fighter core, Anomen never really fit in and I hated how his spellcasting lagged behind Viconia's.
    It's very noticeable in early game especially when you don't actually need Anomen's extra fighter abilities. Why would I, when it's not gonna be enough against powerful enemies like dragons and when for everything in general, I relied on spells? Come late game, clerics just get even more spells and HLAs like Energy Blades. So Anomen's little APR advantage just kinds of goes away.
    Also, if you've been playing for as long as I have, then you don't play every group like you're playing a solo character and micromanage everything. That level of obsessiveness sounds more like work than gaming. Over the years Viconia's MR has saved her more times than I care to count. It's also worth mentioning that in the EE games MR is a lot more powerful (spells which used to force you to make a save regardless of MR have been "fixed").

    Ranged weapons, especially without the extra APR from warrior progression, can be tricky. I suppose late game your Anomen also ends up using the Sling of Everard.
    But this setup does make the best use out of his extra APR though, since it eliminates much of the need for him to constantly reposition while keeping most of the advantages of using a melee weapon. It also puts him in a role that won't clash with many of my group setups.
    Curious. I will have to try this some time in EE.
    I never bothered in vanilla since slings are not supposed to gain strength bonuses and so I just forgot about the whole thing, but now that I'm playing EE... when in Rome and all that.

    Post edited by Nuin on
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,944
    edited November 2015
    If you get them at or before your party is an average of level 12 then Anomen is the one with the XP advantage. After that Viconia has the XP advantage.

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited November 2015
    I'd use actual levels instead of XP advantage. "XP advantage" is misleading because Anomen is a dual-class, and those extra spellcasting levels Viconia gets do matter for early game.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,944
    edited November 2015
    The fact that Anomen is a dual class character actually is to his benefit because Bioware likely took it into consideration when determining what levels you pick him up at given your level, to the point where he is largely going to be over-levelled compared to Viconia. How? Well Anomen9 is a level 11 cleric and a level 7 fighter. So you get him when you are level 9 (I assume Bioware decided this based on the average of his levels). If you were level 9 and picking up Viconia you would get her level 9 version.

    (I'll admit given that Nalia doesn't benefit from this in the same way it was probably an oversight on the part of Bioware)

    Likewise If you were to create a level 12 character and went and you were to compare picking up Anomen and then picking up Viconia you would get the Anomen10 file and then the Viconia11 file. Anomen would be a level 12 cleric and Viconia would be level 11. Now Viconia is pretty close to hitting level 12 (100,000 away), so at that point there isn't that much of an advantage for Anomen, but generally speaking he does actually have an advantage in terms of level (and by extension XP).

    Post edited by elminster on
    GallowglassJuliusBorisov
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,524
    Nuin said:


    And "leech resources" "more so than any other character"?

    No.

    Making Viconia tough will leech resources from the party, more so than another character.

    "Another character," not "any other."

    My point was that Viconia is very good at resisting enemy mages, and is therefore a good tank, but she's vulnerable to enemy fighters, and is therefore a bad tank. You can cover that weakness and allow her to tank all sorts of enemies, but it requires a little more investment, since she needs a STR item to wear heavy armor and not get over-encumbered, unless you dedicate spell slots to STR spells instead.

    I could phrase it two ways:
    1. Viconia benefits more from items than most characters.
    2. Viconia needs items more than most characters.

    Maybe the first phrasing is more acceptable.

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited November 2015
    The tables are here:
    http://gibberlings3.net/iesdp/files/2da/2da_tob/npclevel.htm
    It seems Anomen does start at higher levels if you get them at lower PC levels, and Viconia's spellcasting advantage only shows when you get her at higher PC levels (Anomen stops at anomen10, Viconia goes on to viconia13)
    Huh.
    I guess I never really noticed because I always cleared Waukeen's Promenade and Slum District areas, at least, before visiting the Government District.

  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 951
    Nuin said:

    Viconia's starting cleric level has always been higher than Anomen's in my games. That's a big part of her appeal. She always gets spells like Aerial Servants faster, which plays a big role in catapulting everyone to HLA-gaining levels that much sooner.

    I can confirm that when I get Anomen he is at a higher cleric level than Viconia. Since they are some of the easiest characters to pick up, I don't see why you should be level 12 or higher at that time. So Anomen actually gets those spells first.
    Nuin said:


    Because my groups always have a strong melee fighter core, Anomen never really fit in and I hated how his spellcasting lagged behind Viconia's.

    This sounds like you are just not making good use of him. The last part is just not true, see above.
    Nuin said:


    It's very noticeable in early game especially when you don't actually need Anomen's extra fighter abilities. Why would I, when it's not gonna be enough against powerful enemies like dragons and when for everything in general, I relied on spells? Come late game, clerics just get even more spells and HLAs like Energy Blades. So Anomen's little APR advantage just kinds of goes away.
    Also, if you've been playing for as long as I have, then you don't play every group like you're playing a solo character and micromanage everything. That level of obsessiveness sounds more like work than gaming.

    But casting spells all the time is much more micromanaging than left-clicking at an enemy and have Anomen bash him to death. Which works fine for all the filler combat in the games of which there is quite a bit.

    And not only is more manual work, it takes longer as well as melee combat is the fast way to defeat single or small groups of opponents.
    Nuin said:


    Over the years Viconia's MR has saved her more times than I care to count. It's also worth mentioning that in the EE games MR is a lot more powerful (spells which used to force you to make a save regardless of MR have been "fixed").

    I agree that the MR is an advantage, but it is the only real advantage that Viconia has. And especially when I avoid micromanaging and play a bit sloppy, you always have five other characters than can and will still be affected without specific countermeasures. Still, I think MR is the most convincing argument that can be made for Viconia being as good or better than Anomen.
    Nuin said:


    How exactly is Anomen supposed to fully replace Viconia in early game if Viconia starts with higher spell levels has the potential get higher level spells earlier?

    Not only is your premise wrong, he also has Holy Smite. And Holy Smite scales up to 20th level and remains a useful spell for the entire trilogy.
    Nuin said:


    Would you really play early-mid game Anomen as a second-line fighter with little to no focus on self buffs? Seriously?

    Absolutely, at times. Just not in the difficult battles, where you want the extra advantage buffs give you. If you want to avoid resting all the time you have no other choice anyway and he does fine. Keep the buffs for dragons, liches and party-to-party combats.
    Nuin said:


    The playstyle thing starts to seem a little forced now, doesn't it? Anomen needs to be played certain way to make those extra attacks count. In a nutshell, he needs to constantly be at the frontlines hitting stuff. So if you don't play Anomen to his strengths...

    I think it your playstyle argument that feels rather forced. I think fully utilizing Anomen has a higher skillcap than Viconia. But if you want to play him like Viconia he is just as effective casting, so you don't need to to put the extra effort in. And I play him as a pure spellcasters in certain situations, for example when fighting undead. Especially the level-draining variety. Holy Smites help here as well.

    And just having him bash things when you do not want to expend spells is enough to get good (not full) use out of the extra APR.
    Nuin said:


    But they're not like that all the time, are they? Exactly. It's that way with Goldmoon and Elistan.
    They're not like the -other- cleric stereotype that actively seeks out opponents in melee combat and attempts to overpower them using a combination of buff spells and an offense spell or two.

    First, you contrasted them and it is Goldmoon *and* Elistan? Seems like shifting the goalposts to me. Anyway, we don't see Elistan in combat at all and Goldmoon only at very low levels. And while they don't do around bashing things all the time, Goldmoon does it more often than casting spells in battle.

    Crysania would have been an better example, but that is because towards the end of Chronicles and in Legends authors pretty much abandoned faithfulness to D&D in favor of freedom in storytelling. They remark on that in the annotated books.

    The only high-level Dragonlance cleric we ever see in combat is Verminaard, happily bashing enemies with his mace.

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited November 2015
    You are grasping at straws, tbh.
    So you decided to use Anomen as a dedicated defensive/spellcasting cleric. Good for you. I would suggest trying Viconia next time.

    And I invite you to reread my posts, especially the parts about Goldmoon and Elistan. And the previous one which explains why Viconia can start out with a higher cleric level.

    As for the "not making good use of him" part, I have killed dragons with pure mages using a staff. Of course you could have simply read the part about me pointing out that clerics don't need Crom Faer and how even Viconia can be decent at melee if the situation absolutely calls for it. Or the part where I pointed out that Energy Blades partly negates the "late game Anomen has more attacks" argument.
    So far it's only been the "But Anomen can use a sling very well!" argument that truly gives me pause. That one's very good.

    I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing. I have a -very- good working knowledge of most spells in this game.

    As for the micromanaging part, casting spells does not automatically count as micromanagement. Have you never really tried summoning a few things, buffing everyone, and going a rampage killing everything that moves?
    Try it. It's fun. Downside: you need more spellcasters to pull it off and keep it going. Unless you don't mind constantly changing your spells and resting.

    @semiticgod
    Like I said. If you wanted a tank, you're hiring the wrong NPC. She can soak a few hits if the situation absolutely calls for it, but she's definitely not a tank.

    Post edited by Nuin on
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 671
    But... the very fact that you CAN use Anomen in Viconia's position while not using Viconia in Anomen's means that Anomen has a strict advantage. You're conceding that Anomen can be in either Viconia's role just as well as Viconia can, or switch to his "correct" tank/melee role, which Viconia can't/shouldn't until later levels. Until it's shown how Viconia's Magic Resistance or access to the Evil Cleric spells/turning makes an actual difference... I see maybe 3 spells Clerics have access to that would be helpful if the CHARNAME is affected by an area spell that's resisted by Viconia. (Remove Fear, Dispel Magic, and Remove Paralysis.)

    So far, all I've read in the arguments is that "anything Anomen can do, with enough equipment and levels, Viconia... might be able to do something similar" and possibly once or twice "Viconia's better at dueling mages" (but if we go into that, Aerie probably wins in this metric as well with access to arcane spells, including the wonderful Spell Immunities, Mustard Jelly Form, Globes of Invulnerability, Death Spell...)

    JuliusBorisov
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,524
    @Nuin: She can in fact be a tank. I've used her as one. Having 75 magic resistance, 40% physical damage resistance, and -12 AC in Chapter 2 can keep her alive for quite some time. Few NPCs can match her physical damage resistance, few NPCs can match her AC, and no NPC can match her magic resistance. Having access to Remove Fear, Death Ward, Free Action, and Chaotic Commands also helps. If Viconia doesn't make a good tank, then none of the NPCs do.

    I'm not commenting on her spellcasting ability. I'm not saying this is her primary strength. But tanking is something she can do better than most NPCs.

    NeverusedJuliusBorisov
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 951
    edited November 2015
    Nuin said:

    You are grasping at straws, tbh.

    Please stop the tiresome rhetoric. I will do the same, because at least in my last post I replied in kind.
    Nuin said:


    So you decided to use Anomen as a dedicated defensive/spellcasting cleric. Good for you. I would suggest trying Viconia next time.

    I play Viconia as often as Anomen. And what I said is that I do so in certain battles, I do not do the entire game because this would be a waste of his capabilities. And you still ignore the main point, which is that I can do so and Anomen is just as good at is as Viconia. You have not adressed the Holy Smite argument yet, which is great AoE spell which scales up to level 20.

    To summarize again, with Anomen you have three playstyles:

    1. Stand in the back and cast spells <-- as good as Viconia
    2. Wade into the battle with basic buffs and kill things <-- better than Viconia and not much worse than a fighter
    3. Wade into the battle, fully buffed, casting and attacking, interweaving spells and melee. <-- better than Viconia

    Your point seemed to be that 3 is too much like work. Personally I sympathize with that and would do it only in difficult battles. But just being able to do 1. and 2. and perhaps switching between them once or twice per battle is enough to outperform Viconia.

    <blockquote class="UserQuote">
    Nuin said:


    And the previous one which explains why Viconia can start out with a higher cleric level.



    Only if you pick her up at an average party level of 13 or more. Which is unlikly, even when clearing out Promenade + Slums first. Until then Anomen has the advantage. And if you pick them up earlier than level 13, Anomen will have levelled to level 13 before the average party level is 13 and you could pick up Viconia at that level. Note that when doing the path described by you (Promenade -> Slums) you would also pick up Anomen prior to cleaning out the slums, so he would pick up more XP here.

    Remember that the cleric class of Anomen is two levels above the number in the table you linked.
    Nuin said:


    As for the "not making good use of him" part, I have killed dragons with pure mages using a staff. Of course you could have simply read the part about me pointing out that clerics don't need Crom Faer and how even Viconia can be decent at melee if the situation absolutely calls for it.

    Killing dragons with pure mages is not that difficult, whether using a staff or spells. I agree that Viconia can be decent at melee, but Anomen can shine.
    Nuin said:


    Or the part where I pointed out that Energy Blades partly negates the "late game Anomen has more attacks" argument.

    Now you pick and choose. First you argue that Viconia is better because she starts at a higher level (an advantage that quickly disappears in the late game) and now you mention HLAs which you get very late. And an hasted (better yet, improved hasted) Anomen outdamages Energy Blades, especially as you have to recast the spell every 3 rounds and will quickly run out.
    Nuin said:


    I'm pretty sure I know what I'm doing. I have a -very- good working knowledge of most spells in this game.

    Which does not preclude not having as much experience with certain characters, espeically if you do not play them. Personally, I doubt that I would play thieves to their full potential, as I do not really like pure-class thieves. I also think I never picked up Cernd for more than his personal quest, so I would not consider myself an expert on him. But I have played with both Viconia and Anomen extensively.
    Nuin said:


    As for the micromanaging part, casting spells does not automatically count as micromanagement. Have you never really tried summoning a few things, buffing everyone, and going a rampage killing everything that moves?

    Avoiding micromanaging was your argument against Anomen, otherwise I would never have brought it up. I have played like that and I like it. But unless you do it before the battle (which often requires meta-gaming) pausing and casting is more micro-managing then melee requires.

    Try to stop assuming that I did not try things out and writing in that condescending tone, please.

    P.S.
    I do not understand why one of my blockquotes shows up broken. It seems like all the other to me. Any help?

    semiticgod
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,944
    edited November 2015
    Probably just a vanilla glitch. Happens from time to time. Though honestly what you were quoting from Nuin wasn't even that much in terms of text...next time just quote in full.

    Post edited by elminster on
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