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Are you 'supposed to' repeat battles in Black Pits?

HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
I have started struggling in the Black Pits embarrassingly early into the game... I am no expert and my party is far from min/max'd, but I can't help but feel that perhaps my attempt to press on without repeating battles is unrealistic in the long run, as enemy mages are clearly higher level than my own, and 1 single enemy warrior killed 4 of mine in melee after I thought the battle already won!

So are you supposed to repeat battles to level up and accumulate gold at before trying to progress further? I can't say I am a big fan of such a system if that's true. If I just repeatedly grind battles until I buy out the merchants and hit the level cap, then obviously the difficulty curve will be somewhat meaningless.

Has anyone worked out a good policy for how many 'repeat battles' they allow themselves before moving onto the next challenge?

lolien

Comments

  • mjsmjs Member Posts: 742
    edited February 2014
    edit: i just noticed this was in the bgee thread, so not bp2 as i thought, in which case, you really don't need to repeat battle, but then again not everyone plays the same way. but don't get me wrong i do think there is a big step up from bgee to bg:bp in terms of difficulty and required tactics

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    @mjs

    Wait... are u talking about Black Pits 2? I am talking about Black Pits 1, I don't think there is an option to ask the crowd for gifts...

  • mjsmjs Member Posts: 742
    Heindrich said:

    @mjs

    Wait... are u talking about Black Pits 2? I am talking about Black Pits 1, I don't think there is an option to ask the crowd for gifts...

    i figured it out too late :(

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    I guess I underestimated the difficulty curve, especially for the early stages. My party is not ideally balanced (no cleric), not min/max'd and suffers from the 'linear-warrior quadratic-wizard' problem. (There's 2 pure spellcasters and 2 of the warriors are Kensai, who are kinda squishy at low levels.)

    Party details:
    http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/30229/the-tales-of-sima-jin-black-pits-blind-let-s-play

  • mjsmjs Member Posts: 742
    you need good CC options and druids and clerics get excellent (de)buffs. i wouldn't recommend trying to juggle dual classing either and thieves aren't totally necessary. you want to be able to cast 2-3 in the first round. what fight are you stuck on/experience difficulty with?

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    @mjs

    I was struggling with the first group in Tier 2 (I said embarrassingly early lol). But I just got past them now. I think I've established a balanced system to get the right difficulty curve for my party...

    I try to press on though a tier of battles until I get to the first battle of the next tier, then I replay all the battles of the previous tier once. This means I arrive at the next tier at the same level as my enemies, and gold still has some significance.

  • elementelement Member Posts: 833
    edited February 2014
    I went through both without repeating battles and im not the best player so its definitely possible

  • DelvarianDelvarian Member Posts: 1,232
    I felt that the black pits actualy got easier as it went on, once your characters level up a bit and you get gold for good equipment.
    The only problems I had were fights that I didn't have the proper weapons or magic to hurt the monsters I was fighting.

  • TwaniTwani Member Posts: 640
    By theory, you shouldn't have to.

    By practice, the game is certainly a lot easier if you do.

    I got through one BG1 play without re-playing any fights, but it was tough. I had SCS AI enhancements on, and I hadn't min-maxed my characters at all. Each fight, I had to reload like, three to five times. Which made me not really 'successful' so much as it made me 'lucky'.

    So you can get through it without reloading fights- I did, on a minimal party. But it's very difficult, and in my opinion, it wasn't much fun. Repeating fights, and having the xp to meet the tiers face to face... that was more fun.

    (and yeah, the higher you get, the easier it seems to get.)

    Elrandir
  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635
    I completely share Delvarian point of view. Like in the normal game, the beginning is much harder than the end. Because of that, using late bloomers make the game harder.


    I know and i respect the fact that you try to RP it but really BP is not made for RP (you have you have no way of knowing what your opponents will be and therefore cannot prepare accordingly leading to heavy reloading/metagaming).


    Therefore, I feel the problem lies in your party which is really gimped, especially at lower levels.

    - you are really really far from powergaming. Quite the opposite actually. PIPS are especially awful (2 fighters with no weapon specialization, 3 fighters with 2 PIPS in single weapon which sucks)
    - you have 2 arcane casters. It is both unecessary in BGEE and very weak at low levels.
    - druids are also very sucky at low levels (level 1-2-3 spell selection is abysmal)
    - thieves are useless in BP
    - your fighter are very squishy : 2 kensais, 1 fighter thief (which i guess is not wearing heavy armor)

    Overall the only asset of your group (besides its great RP value), if the cavalier.



    To summarize, you face an impossible challenge : you have created a party for RP. But this party sucks so much at low level that you will probably forced to grind or to use heavy cheese (like prebuffing like crazy) which is quite the opposite of RP.


    My advice, trying to conciliate the RP side and the powergaming side.
    - reallocate PIPS for your fighters (specialized weapons dual wielding instead of single weapon for some of them,...)
    - Replace the kensai-> mage by a fighter/mage much more solid from the start
    - Change the sorceror to a RDD. This could help for the first levels.

    That way, you would keep the idea and structure of your party but will have an easier time at lower level.

    If it is still not working, get rid of the mage and replace with a cleric.

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    Twani said:

    By theory, you shouldn't have to.

    By practice, the game is certainly a lot easier if you do.

    I got through one BG1 play without re-playing any fights, but it was tough. I had SCS AI enhancements on, and I hadn't min-maxed my characters at all. Each fight, I had to reload like, three to five times. Which made me not really 'successful' so much as it made me 'lucky'.

    I honestly wish that they implemented the difficulty curve a bit differently. Right now I've settled on a policy of repeating every battle once, after I get to the end of a tier. (Is every tier 5 battles?)

    So for example, when I reach the first battle of Tier 2, I fight all the Tier 1 battle again. Then I press on with Tier 2 until the first battle of Tier 3, and then I can repeat all the Tier 2 battles again. This seems to provide a good balance thus far.

    I don't mind difficult, but I don't like being forced to cheese or rely on luck to defeat far stronger enemies. For example in that battle I struggled with (Tier 2, battle 1), it seemed that my only hope was that Horror works against the enemy mage. So the outcome of the battle relied on a roll of the dice. I don't enjoy that kind of difficulty.

    @mumumomo

    I totally see what you mean. I think I made that very same point somewhere in my recording, possibly in the videos I just uploaded, but I realised that my party was horribly weak in the early game. Class composition is as much of a problem as poor stats, and my unwillingness to allow pure mages to use missile weapons, so that the only character with missile weapons is the Fighter/Thief. From my experience of BG 1, missile weapons are king in low level combat.

    That said, with my current system, I am coping... the battles aren't easy, but I can progress, thus far at least, and since everyone says that it gets easier, then hopefully I won't hit another brick wall that requires me to break my own rules.

    This party is composed of characters that I like and/or have some personal significance. So I won't make any changes now, especially as I've already recorded a fair bit. I know that I'm really missing a Cleric, but hopefully I can get through BP 1, and in BP 2, I expect to see them 'bloom'... which is probably just as well cos I heard BP 2 is harder than BP 1.

  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635
    I would not worry too much for the lack of cleric on the long term.
    At low level it is painful since druids miss the only good level 1-2-3 spells (like command, hold person, animate dead).

    But at higher levels the druid spell selection is much stronger than cleric ones (iron skins, which will solve your squishy kensai problem, insect swarm, nature's beauty)

    Also, i have never play BP2 but, like you, i think your group will work very well there :

    - the 3 arcane casters will be VERY powerful
    - the kensai/mage and kensai/druid will not be squishy anymore thanks to buffs
    - crappy stats issue will also tend to disappear thanks to stats enhancing items and predominance of magic at high levels.

    Anyway, good luck on your attempt for BP1.

    My advice : keep money to buy potions. Some of them are incredibly powerful and will bring much more than an extra +1 on your weapons or armor.
    Since they are in unlimited quantity, money is your only limitation. I think that a magic resistance potion cost something like 1500gp.
    Using 2 of them, you can make one character completely immune to magic which is a huge boon.

  • DelvarianDelvarian Member Posts: 1,232
    I have to say that I wasn't a fan of the original BP. I found it somewhat useful for trying out builds, but little else. I'm more of an RPr myself and just couldn't get invested in story.
    That being said I found BP2 to be a very fun diversion, I liked that you could have NPCs fight along with your party, and that you had other things to do beside simply fighting battles.
    The second BP also let's you find out who or what you'll be fighting next which I found to be useful. Less cheesy to me than having to reload a fight because I don't have anything that does fire or acid dmg.

    jackjack
  • AskejiAskeji Member Posts: 6
    edited February 2014
    mumumomo said:


    Therefore, I feel the problem lies in your party which is really gimped, especially at lower levels.

    - you are really really far from powergaming. Quite the opposite actually. PIPS are especially awful (2 fighters with no weapon specialization, 3 fighters with 2 PIPS in single weapon which sucks)
    - you have 2 arcane casters. It is both unecessary in BGEE and very weak at low levels.
    - druids are also very sucky at low levels (level 1-2-3 spell selection is abysmal)
    - thieves are useless in BP
    - your fighter are very squishy : 2 kensais, 1 fighter thief (which i guess is not wearing heavy armor)

    Overall the only asset of your group (besides its great RP value), if the cavalier.

    I have to say I disagree with a couple points. I understand the quadratic power curve for mages, but I think people apply it far too literally. Arcane casters are great support at lower levels. Sleep is strong for as long as it lasts (that is to say, on the first few encounters). Glitterdust is especially OP, it renders casters/ranged mobs obsolete, just standing there. And gives a (-4?) penalty to the enemy AC and attack rolls, so your front liners absolutely clean up. Fireball/skull trap @ level 3 can also carry, especially if you have 2+ mages casting it at the same time. Put Fire resistance on your tanks if need be. Fear is good CC in arena (i hate it in the normal games), invis on rogues is good, and haste as a lvl 3 spell is so so strong. After buffing your team/debuffing theirs, if the fight isnt over yet, good old chromatic orb/magic missles/melfs acid arrow/fireballs/minute meteors are good nukes to begin slinging at priority targets.

    Thieves are not useless in BP, most notably assassins. All you need to make thieves work is invisibility from ring/potions/spells cast by mages (level 2 spell), and you have a very reliable back stabber. Assassins are OP as HELL, probably one of the most OP classes in BG 1/2. They don't take over the game like mages/sorcs eventually do, but using poison with a ranged weapon is very very strong. It completely kills enemy casters and prevents them from ever casting, even working through mirror images and stone skin,, and poison also does a lot of damage to fighters. What I do with assassins is get poison ticking on any enemy mages, and then start putting it on any remaining damage dealers and lastly tanks. 1-2 hits is enough. Tugian bow is a pretty OP combo with this, 3 attacks/round (4 with haste), or darts also have 3 attacks if you can get close enough.

    Post edited by Askeji on
    jackjackSkaffen
  • SkaffenSkaffen Member Posts: 709
    edited February 2014
    Stupid question, haven't watched your let's plays yet but are you prebuffing your characters before the fight?

    Even if you don't know what is coming specifically, most general use buffs like haste, remove fear etc. should be pre-applied. You can also get hints on your next opponents by talking to the beholder before the fights.

    Because of the pre-buffing I found most of BP1 to be much easier than BP2 and have soloed it with a berserker (xp cap removed) with only a few repeat fights.

  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    edited February 2014
    @Skaffen

    Do you know what... it's stupid, but it never occurred to me to walk around the place... I just found the Beholder you mentioned. I am already in Tier 3. *facepalm*

    At this stage the game is pretty easy (at least the first battle of Tier 3 was), and I am almost at xp cap. (Is it the same for BP 1 as the main game?

    I am pretty strict about pre-buffing in the main game, but in BP I have no problem with it because it's not like the party are gonna be surprised to have to fight in the arena. XD

    jackjackWolk
  • SkaffenSkaffen Member Posts: 709
    edited February 2014
    You should definetely walk around in BP2! :)

    And it's a level and not straightfirward xp cap (10), you can find details on the implementation here

    http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/26459/black-pits-xp-cap

    Heindrich
  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    @Skaffen

    Ah thanks... My party currently has 155K-ish xp. I had the BG:EE xp cap removed. I suppose I should add it back in if I don't want the endgame to become pointlessly easy.

  • SkaffenSkaffen Member Posts: 709
    I think the caps are unrelated, main game shouldn't affect BP. Last fight will be tough in any case :) With 155 you still have a good way to go for most of your characters.

  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635
    lol, i never saw that beholder either.

    @Askeji,

    My point was not to say that mages are useless at low levels. They are indeed not bad (my favored class, by very far being sorceror) but i think they are suboptimal compared to other classes at low level :
    -fighter types do much better damage and can take much more damage
    -cleric types are better at buffing/debuffing and are also much more resilient

    The only really worthwhile thing they bring compared to a cleric to low level is haste. And you just need 1 mage to cast it.

    Anyway, with exporting to BP2 in mind, i would also bring 2-3 arcane casters with me. But i would support them with classes which are strong from the start, which is not the case of the OP.

    Regarding thieves, i completely agree that assassin (or rather poison weapon) is completely OP. But let's face it, a blackguard makes a much better use of poison weapon thanks to better THACO and APR.

    As for backstab, while getting invisible between attacks is possible,it requires a lot of micromanagement and is not that efficient if you compare it to the damage done in the same type by a fighter type (especially at high levels)

    Overall while thieves are not completely useless, they bring less than other classes.



    As for the last fight, just give 2 potions of magic resistance potion to one of your guys and it will be painfully easy (this work for almost all the fights in BP1 btw)


  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    @Skaffen

    Ah I just realised that the higher level cap in BP compared to the main game adds a complication that I had not expected.

    I was planning to dual-class the Kensai at lv9, which I expected would be BP 2. But if he's gonna reach lv 10 in BP 1, then I need to dual-class near the end of BP 1, which means crippling him just before (presumably) the difficult endgame...

    Can anyone confirm if the Black Pits level cap is affected by the normal BG: EE xp cap remover?

  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 648
    @Heindrich

    You could always use the clua console to keep your XP below 250K. I've never played BP all the way through. Can a full party get that much XP in there?

  • AskejiAskeji Member Posts: 6
    6 fighters vs 3 fighters/3 mages, low level. I'd bet on the fighter/mage combo, would you bet on the fighters mumumomo?

    You just make it sound like because fighters are better at fighting, its better to have a fighter than anything else.

  • SkaffenSkaffen Member Posts: 709
    Hmm... 10th fighter level is more or less worthless except for thaco but you will reach 11 mage after the first fight in bp2 (xp awards are crazy there) and you'll still reach something like 26 or 27 mage.

  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635

    I confirm that for me, early game fighter are better than anything else. I would still take 1 cleric and 1 mage, to make the 4 fighters more efficient.

    As for the 6 vs 3/3, The mages could win but it would depend mostly on the fighter kits. berserkers/blackguards/inquisitors would slaughter the mages and then proceed with the remaining 3 guys.

    a 5/1 group would beat both (and require a lot less micromanagement).

  • IntoTheDarknessIntoTheDarkness Member Posts: 118
    I beat BP on core with the default party, without repeating and failing once on blind attempt. I don't think it's supposed to be repeated. Look at it from narrative point of view. Baeloth won't let you 'repeat' and there are unique opponents who already died. Consider repeating a sort of difficulty adjustment given by developers, though I'm not sure why it is there when you can just lower the difficulty.

    Only time I had trouble was golem and slimes. I only had 1 blunt weapon with my cleric/thief so he had to kill all the golems. As for Slimes, I expected trolls from Beholder's comments and prepared fire attacks. I however wasn't aware slimes keep splitting until I had 8 slimes on the map. Then I reasoned that maybe they should be killed by fire. I used up all my spells so I used fire arrows to kill all of them.

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