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Dorn is the best Fighter NPC in game

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Comments

  • SouplesseSouplesse Member Posts: 72
    Jaheira is better than Dorn and Minsc :)
    Dual Club of detonation + Belm
    Set her with a strength belt, 5apr then 10 with IH, armor of faith, iron skin !
    Ok she's not Korgan with axe of U and Crom but she is good!

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 1,829
    Souplesse said:

    Jaheira is better than Dorn and Minsc :)
    Dual Club of detonation + Belm
    Set her with a strength belt, 5apr then 10 with IH, armor of faith, iron skin !
    Ok she's not Korgan with axe of U and Crom but she is good!

    While I agree she's better than both (on grounds of bees and blindness if nothing else), isn't that's 4.5 APR without the gauntlets of 1/2 APR? 2 + 1/2 + 1 offhand + 1 Belm?

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,792
    @Pantalion
    2. The bard song improves more than once, and before level 15
    3. A higher value is irrelevant if the lower value is paractically as effective.
    4. If you can list why JanJansen is superior then I can use a high level bard to compare.
    5. Tenser's, Tenser's, I'll give you the backstab, they don't to detect illusions when they can simply dispel them, knock, most traps are either avoidable or survivable, everything thing in this game uses something as a resource so moot point, all mage spells above level 5 are simply gravy and 100% not necessary to deal with anything the game throws at you.

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 1,829
    2: Sure, just after BG1.

    3: Correct, but Imoen is unarguably more effective given that she can match the bardic value and then some by level 6. At best a Bard is saving a better thief some points, this does not make them "the best", which I remind you is your position.

    4: Um? Okay, no. I'm going to say the things that Haer'dalis can do that Jansen can't do better and five times more often, or doesn't get, because that's a far, far shorter list.

    4 Weapon Proficiency pips.
    Proficiency in fighter weapons.
    Specialisation in short swords and long swords.
    50% cold resistance
    25% fire resistance
    25% electricity resistance
    15% physical resistance
    2 extra pips in TWF.
    38 HP, average.
    Dispel Magic caster level.
    Enhanced Bard Song.
    Magic Flute
    Cast level 1-6 necromancy spells without a scroll.
    +56 Lore (can't be bothered to check mental stats, it means Haer'dalis can identify the Viper's Edge and Jan can't without Identify).
    Offensive Spin
    Defensive Spin

    There ya go, go right ahead and explain which of these makes Haer'dalis the best NPC, or wherever you're going with this.

    5: Tenser's doesn't give APR or specialisation APR. It sets THAC0, gives bonus damage, bonus AC, and temp HP.
    None of the thief skills except set snare are limited by resources whatsoever, including your aura, detection can even be activated without interrupting your current action, and can't be stopped by Spell Immunity.
    Suggesting that being able to make do without power is the same as that power not existing is fallacious. A character with level 7+ spells can do everything the character with level 6 spells can, but with more resources and stronger tools available.

  • SouplesseSouplesse Member Posts: 72
    Yes she needs the gauntlet ... or 5 pips in clubs with tweaks :)

    Pantalion
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 217
    edited December 7
    i will add that it is possible to get level 8 Mage spells for Bards if you use the most generous Spell Table option via Tweaks anthology (other casters also have better tables, but really makes a difference for Bards to get up to level 8 spells obviously).

    I must admit i very rarely use an NPC as a tank as i prefer to solo and almost always have a fighter class combination, but i would say Mazzy is not to be overlooked, she can use Azure Edge axe, is one of the very few that doesn't need the Dex Gauntlets and her inate abilities are cray-cray good!

    Give her the Hill Giant Belt and she matches Dorn, Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specialization and she's better, by default she can Grandmaster which is limited to Korgan and Anomen w/o Mods. She has at least some Con bonus for HP's and gets saving throw bonus for being halfling, AND she has access to one of the very few items in the game that provides immunity to Stun (and also slow which is less useful).

    ThacoBell
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 373
    Am I going to regret joining this conversation? Probably. Am I going to do so anyways? Why the heck not.

    I'm going to say that there's not one "Strongest" NPC in the entire saga. A NPC is only as strong as its role in a party composition. In a composition where you have no Warrior that wants to tank, Ha'erdalis' Defensive Spin holds a significant advantage in not burning through Stoneskins or Mirror Images or in longer fights PfMW uses. In a composition where you have very few arcane users, Edwin or Neera are probably going to be the strongest just due to spell slot advantage. In a composition with front-liners that have relatively bad defenses controlled by a player with bad micromanagement (me), Aerie could become the strongest member on your team. If you have no Thief (and there's only two that can even reach Thief HLAs, much less get a good Detect Illusions score...) then of course Jan's going to be really powerful for that team.

    While there might be a worst NPC in BG2 (Wilson or Minsc,) I find it hard to say that there's a best. Most Mages or Arcane casters besides Nalia offer something unique to the table: Aerie gets Cleric spells as well for slot compression and sequencers, Edwin has that amulet and kit, Ha'erdalis gets Bard Song as well as two pretty interesting special abilities, Imoen gets single-class Mage leveling and can handle traps and locks, Jan gets all Thief abilities and HLAs rolled into his Mage abilities at the expense of getting those spell slots later, Neera can act as a sorcerer as a dangerous panic button, and... Sarevok is a Fighter at almost HLA levels, just to fill it out.

    On Garrick and all the other BG1 bards, for the heck of it: one important thing he can do and Quayle can't: use ranged weapons besides a Sling. Arrows of Dispelling, Bolts of Biting, Darts of Stunning are some pretty game-changing ammunition that Garrick can use that Quayle can't. Other than that, Quayle probably has an advantage. Well, and not dying to a two arrows because low level multis get levels so slowly, but that's manageable.

  • ValciValci Member Posts: 31
    edited December 7
    for me this is a weird question to begin with... which is the strongest WHEN? at the very end of the saga? the last 10% of the game(s)? loaded with the very best gear? ... a lot of arguments can be made for one or the other. Mages are naturally powerful at high levels due to their class... but when it comes to fighter NPCs i tend to think of their power in terms of their relevance throughout the entire saga and by that token i generally tend to valule Dorn and Minsc quite highly as they have high strength and you get them early on in BG1 and they are good (if not the best) throughout. Strictly in BG2 i dont think Korgan has much competition due to being a berserker with good strength naturally. Any one of the fighter type NPCs can be adjusted with gear to make up for their deficiencies be it CON (with girdle of fortitude i think its called) or STR from belts or other items, DEX with the gauntlets and so on. I guess Minsc has a weakness to mind flayers but you can always temporarily bump INT with potions or whatnot. All that has as much to do with the power of the iteams in the game as it has with the NPCs themselves. I wonder who would win in a no gear/naked fistfight with only their abilities to work with though?... maybe ill do that experiment at some point... lol.

    Dragonspear
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 1,829
    edited December 7
    Neverused said:

    On Garrick and all the other BG1 bards, for the heck of it: one important thing he can do and Quayle can't: use ranged weapons besides a Sling. Arrows of Dispelling, Bolts of Biting, Darts of Stunning are some pretty game-changing ammunition that Garrick can use that Quayle can't. Other than that, Quayle probably has an advantage. Well, and not dying to a two arrows because low level multis get levels so slowly, but that's manageable.

    Good point about the arrows (though I contest that this is a very reasonable tradeoff for also-game-changing cleric and level 4 mage spells), not so much about the low level multis, where the opposite is true. Experience needed at low levels is exponential, so a two class multi is never more than three levels behind before level 9, even on slow vs fast progression (it's closer with a Mage/Thief):

    1250 Exp: Bard 2
    2500 Exp: Bard 3
    5000 Exp: Bard 4 // Mage 2/Cleric 2 < This is the lowest level you can encounter Quayle at.
    10000 Exp: Bard 5 // Mage 3/Cleric 3
    20000 Exp: Bard 6 // Mage 4/Cleric 4 < This is the highest level you can encounter Garrick at.
    40000 Exp: Bard 7 // Mage 5/Cleric 5
    70000 Exp: Bard 8 // Mage 5/Cleric 6 < This is the highest level you can encounter Quayle at.
    110000 Exp: Bard 9 // Mage 6/Cleric 7
    160000 Exp: Bard 10 // Mage 7/Cleric 7
    SoD: 500000 Exp: Bard 12 // Mage 10/Cleric 9


    It's only in SoA that the bard pulls ahead, gaining level 6 spells 180k exp before a mage/x multiclass.

    Given average rolls:
    Garrick at level 4 is at 13.5 HP, while Quayle at 2/2 is at 11.5 HP.
    Garrick at level 10 is at 37.5 HP, Quayle at 7/7 is at 28 HP.

    Quayle is immune to crits, can use a large shield, and has 7/5/10/13/6 saves.
    Garrick is not immune to crits, can use a buckler, and has 11/10/10/14/11 saves.

    There is no point where Quayle, being crit immune and having a shield, is significantly more vulnerable to ranged attacks than Garrick.
    Valci said:

    for me this is a weird question to begin with... which is the strongest WHEN?

    Excluding wands and scrolls, for mages (and bards), "strongest fighter" starts very roughly round around the time they get level 4 spells (Polymorph, Stoneskin, Fireshields), gets a big boost at level 5 (spell immunity, which is where they finally catch up with Berserk) ramps up at level 6 spells (PfMW), ramps up again at level 7 spells (Project Image), then just spirals into weird rocket tag shenanigans at level 8 and 9 spells.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,792
    @Valci This answer will change with every person you ask. For me, its who is the most consistently useful at every stage of the game, and who can handle the most varied situations.

    dunbarDragonspearPantalion
  • Dev6Dev6 Member Posts: 285
    Neverused said:

    While there might be a worst NPC in BG2 (Wilson or Minsc,)


    ThacoBellDragonspear
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,792
    Looking back at the previous comments I have made, I have left a couple glaring details out.

    1. I never directly compare single and multiclasses. Multiclasses wreck the power curve on their own and POWER wise, will beat any single class.
    2. I'm not saying bards are the most powerful, but the BEST for how I measure the metric. See my previous comment for how I rate NPC usefulness.

  • ValciValci Member Posts: 31
    edited December 7
    ThacoBell said:

    @Valci This answer will change with every person you ask. For me, its who is the most consistently useful at every stage of the game, and who can handle the most varied situations.

    Absolutely, I see it the same way. And I do like me a bard too as I will generally have one in the party if not playing one as the protagonist.

    Coincidentally I also agree on your point re multi-classed characters screwing up the power curve. I tend to about them myself with the exception of Jan who I find very funny. But anyway, imho multi-classes should have fixed restrictions in that when you chose to multi it should be to gain versatility but it should come at the expense of raw power. For instance I don't think any sort of mage multi should be able to reach the same level of spells a single class mage does and so forth... But I'm just weird that way...lol

    Arctodus
  • malachi151malachi151 Member Posts: 149
    Valci said:

    for me this is a weird question to begin with... which is the strongest WHEN? at the very end of the saga? the last 10% of the game(s)? loaded with the very best gear? ... a lot of arguments can be made for one or the other. Mages are naturally powerful at high levels due to their class... but when it comes to fighter NPCs i tend to think of their power in terms of their relevance throughout the entire saga and by that token i generally tend to valule Dorn and Minsc quite highly as they have high strength and you get them early on in BG1 and they are good (if not the best) throughout. Strictly in BG2 i dont think Korgan has much competition due to being a berserker with good strength naturally. Any one of the fighter type NPCs can be adjusted with gear to make up for their deficiencies be it CON (with girdle of fortitude i think its called) or STR from belts or other items, DEX with the gauntlets and so on. I guess Minsc has a weakness to mind flayers but you can always temporarily bump INT with potions or whatnot. All that has as much to do with the power of the iteams in the game as it has with the NPCs themselves. I wonder who would win in a no gear/naked fistfight with only their abilities to work with though?... maybe ill do that experiment at some point... lol.

    To me there are a few things that really matter:

    1) Kit - Because this is immutable and defines what the char can do
    2) Starting proficiencies
    3) Stats

    Stats matter less in many ways because there are so many ways to augment them, but they do still matter.

    The starting proficiencies have a big impact on what you can reasonably do with the char.

    For example Minsc starts with, IMO, the best proficiencies of any NPC in BG1 or 2, because all of his proficiencies are good and make sense. If you look at Kivan, he's got wasted pips in Halberds of all things, but he can still be good.

    The good things with Minsc is he's all ready to go with the pips he has and it's easy to maximize optimal weapon selections for him.

    Jaheira on the other had isn't quite as optimal. I'd rather she had starting pips in Daggers for Firetooth. It's hard to get her into Daggers because you want to also put pips into Scimitars and possibly Slings and she levels slow. But still, she's pretty good.

    The pips matter less in BG2, because eventually you can usually get whatever you want, but still. Having good starting pips make stings much better.

    Skatan
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 1,829
    Valci said:

    ThacoBell said:

    @Valci This answer will change with every person you ask. For me, its who is the most consistently useful at every stage of the game, and who can handle the most varied situations.

    Absolutely, I see it the same way. And I do like me a bard too as I will generally have one in the party if not playing one as the protagonist.

    Coincidentally I also agree on your point re multi-classed characters screwing up the power curve. I tend to about them myself with the exception of Jan who I find very funny. But anyway, imho multi-classes should have fixed restrictions in that when you chose to multi it should be to gain versatility but it should come at the expense of raw power. For instance I don't think any sort of mage multi should be able to reach the same level of spells a single class mage does and so forth... But I'm just weird that way...lol
    Generally with magic users the issue is where you draw the Exp cap.

    BG1 cap: 89,000
    Mage = Level 7, Level 4 spells.
    Mage/X = Level 6, Level 3 spells.
    F/M/X = Level 5, Level 3 spells - but 1 fewer than the M/X.

    TotSC cap: 161,000
    Mage = Level 9 - Level 5 spells.
    Mage/X = Level 7 - Level 4 spells.
    F/M/X = Level 6 - Level 3 spells.

    SoD cap: 500,000
    Mage = Level 11 - Level 5 spells.
    Mage/X = Level 10 - Level 5 spells.
    F/M/X = Level 9 - Level 5 spells.

    SoA cap: 2,950,000
    Mage = Level 17 - Level 8 spells.
    Mage/X = 14 - Level 7 spells.
    F/M/X = 12 = Level 6 spells (Bards mirror F/M/X up to here, and no further.

    ToB cap:
    Mage = Level 31 = Level 9 spells. All the HLAs. 4-5 Level 9 spells.
    Mage/X = Level 20 = Level 9 spells. All the HLAs. 2-3 Level 9 spells.
    F/M/X = Level 17 = Level 8 spells. No mage HLAs.



    Spot the odd one out: It's SoD. The stupid arbitrary round number.

    If the cap had been 382,000 Exp:

    Warriors and Clerics = 9
    Mage = 11
    Thief = 11
    Druid = 12
    F/M = 8/9
    F/C = 8/8
    R/C = 8/8
    F/D = 8/10
    M/T = 9/10
    C/M = 9/8
    F/M/T = 7/8/8
    F/M/C = 7/8/7


    Everyone levels at least once extra, M/X gets level 5 spells, F/M/X doesn't (mirroring the ToB cap, and like the Bard they don't get level 5 spells).

    If you didn't care about ensuring that paladins and rangers hit level 9 (because they have a stupid level curve), you could have the harsher cap of 250k, meaning:

    Fighters Monks and Clerics = 9
    Rangers/Paladins = 8
    Mage = 10
    Thief = 10
    Druid = 11
    F/M = 8/8
    F/C = 8/8
    R/C = 7/8
    F/D = 8/10
    M/T = 8/9
    C/M = 8/8
    F/M/T = 7/7/8
    F/M/C = 7/7/7

    Pure Mage: Level 5
    Multimage: Level 4

    Cleric: Level 5
    Multicleric: Level 4


    Fair and balanced - like a fox.


    Now, the problem with every OTHER class is that they're terrible, and that there aren't enough Mage or Cleric HLAs. Barely over eight million Exp gets you the salient features of every single class worth a damn:

    Level 13 Fighter - 1.25e6
    Level 21 Thief - 2.42e6 (3.67e6)
    Level 14 Cleric - 1.35e6 (5.02e6)
    Level 18 Mage - 3e6 (8.02e6)

    Above level 13, the Fighter is largely irrelevant, THAC0 was already good enough to hit most things, you already had a weapon picked out for them. Dead levels.
    Level 21 Thief has enough skills to max out 6/7 skills and the best snares. Their big saving grace is their HLAs.
    Level 14 Cleric has level 7 spells - anything more is just doing it better, not doing something new.
    Level 18 Mage has level 9 spells - ditto to the cleric, more of the same, not a radically different change.


    Now, maybe Cleric and Mage both want to be level 20 for CL (2.7e6 and 3.75e6 respectively) and that also gets them an extra top level spell slot, but that's still well below the level cap.


    Now you can't fix this for SoA, because Fighters suck, but Multiclasses could still quite easily have been balanced for ToB by setting HLAs to require a multiclass must have 3e6 in each class. F/M/X would never get HLAs, while bi-classes would need 6e6 Exp for their first multi:

    Fighter gets 5 HLAs.
    Rangerdin gets 4 HLAs.
    Thief gets 5 HLAs.
    Mage gets 3 HLAs.
    Cleric gets 4 HLAs.
    Druid gets 7 HLAs.

    Now you have multiclass characters only catching up at 6e6 with the people who got to whirlwind or UAI for over half the new content's worth of Exp as a reward for their purity, and get far fewer HLAs overall (rather than more, as is currently the case), forcing them to be choosy about what they pick up.

    It would even make Bard have a competitive edge over a Mage/Thief - they get a full 17 HLAs to spend on UAI, Epic Bard Song, and 5 of each epic snare, the M/T gets 8 HLAs - Maybe three mage spells, UAI, 4 total Epic snares. 2 Time, 2 Spike. They still have a lot of advantages, but Bard has a far better niche.


    tl;dr: Set SoD cap to 250k, change HLAs to 6e6 for Multiclasses, and the game balances out much better.

    ArctodusSkatan
  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 722
    edited December 8
    @Pantalion I agree with pretty much everything you said here, but the SoD cap does make some sense if you consider the lenght and the content of the game. With a cap of 382k, you would hit the cap fairly soon, which would feel boring for a lot of players. It would be even worse with a 250k cap.The last time I played SoD with a team, we hit the level cap right after the Siege, just before going into Avernus. That's good timing.

    Mind you, I personally wouldn't care about hitting the cap early - because I like challenges and balance in a game - but some other players would feel that they're "wasting their time" because they can't gain more levels. If a mod would change the xp cap to 382k like you said, I'd most probably install it in my game, but I understand the decision behind the original SoD cap.

    Edit : Oh, and the HLA restriction is a fantastic idea also.

  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 1,829
    I could rant more about 500k being ridiculous on grounds of it should have been 495k or something, because the cap is always more about being close to something cool in the next game than having that something cool right now, but I'd probably go on forever.

    The big issue here is that level 9 is when Mages hit their ascendancy, gaining massive power and gaining levels at a faster rate than fighters. You either have 400k or less Exp to stop just shy of F/M/Ts hitting that magic sweet spot (and it's a large sweet spot, since it covers three levels), or you increase the cap to 750k to coast past it, and pretty sure someone's going to be sad if Corwin can only hit level 8 instead of level 9 with the 250k version.

    Honestly the ideal sweet spot would probably be 305k Exp:
    Every pure class gets one level with a milestone - THAC0 increase for the thieves and mages, level 5 spells for clerics, their final full hitdie and con bonus for warriors, level 6 spells for Druids. Their overall power is very much sufficient for the content, and it's sort of mid way between levels for a lot of classes, as the originals caps accomplished, while still getting Multiclasses to their own sweet spots (like F/M/X finally getting to their all important 1/2 APR and no further).

    thar_thaazdhenSkatanArtona
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