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The cheapest (unfair) fights and encounters in the BG saga contrasted with the "fair" fights.

2

Comments

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,267
    edited July 10
    i've played these games way too many times, to remember what is fair and unfair anymore ( all thanks to metagaming )

    the way i look at it, i don't mind losing fights if i go in completely unprepared, and even with spell/potions/tactics use during battle and still lose, that is what reload is there for

    but if i go into a fight, completely buffed up, and use said strategies and still lose, then i have a problem with it

    now with that being said, i don't know about normal difficulties but on insane difficulty some fights are just impossible without exploits ( and to me, a successful fight is one that keeps all 6 members alive after battle )

    bg1;

    from what i can remember, absolutely any fight in bg1 with the right preparations is not only winnable but easily so, usually every battle some enemy some where has some sort of weakness ( and especially enemies in bg1 their saves for the most part are crap and wands are absolute menaces in bg1 ) with realistically the only battles that even require some sort of micro management are; the demon knight, ( where you can use the mirror against it for weaker teams that can't survive the silly 120 damage power word kill ) Aec'Letec ( which you don't even need to use the potion of mirrored eyes to win, which i only recently heard works, usually what i do is just buff up my melee chums with potions of cloud giant STR/heroism/invulnerability and then just haste them and let those 3 go to town and the battle is won ) and then the final battle with sarevok ( take out angelo who will cast a remove magic that won't fail, but if he dies before that, the battle is over, because at this point you will have cast and drank every potion and spell imaginable to win, and especially if you saved all your good stuff for this battle, this battle is pie, even with sarevok dealing 50 damage a hit )

    SoD;

    haven't played this game enough to know it ( i've only ever did maybe 3 full play throughs ), although i did find this game to be the hardest on insane out of bg1/SoD/SoA/ToB

    SoA;

    pretty much the same as bg1- as long as you came prepared you should win any battle even with relative ease, with some exceptions;

    dragons; for whatever reason im pretty sure beamdog made the dragons why stronger in the EEs, but with that came a glaring weakness; the level 1 spell blindness, now it seams the only way i can win against dragons is to blind them, because if not, no matter what i do they just annihilate me otherwise

    liches; because they are immune to breach, that means they will always get their time stop off and start doing bad things to good people, but weapons like the improved mace of disruption is practically mandatory against these guys or else you might as well reload

    every other battle ( even the final battle ) again, prepare correctly, and victory should be yours

    ToB;

    now this is where things get kind of whacky, because some enemies are just stupid strong in of themselves and if they come with comrades then it gets to the point where only exploits can win, so from memory;

    chapter 8 is fine, as far as i remember proper preparation is all that is needed and you should be fine

    watcher's keep, is also fine with the same idea; proper preparation and everything should be fine, even with the seal battles, although the final battle requires a bit of micro management because of some effects that have no save and kind of screw you over unless you have immunity ( like stun, disease, poison, level drain ) but can still be won first try

    amkethran, all is good

    sendai's enclave, again all is good, and i would even say the final battle in that enclave is right on the money with difficulty, fairness and everything, nothing unfair about it and its just where it needs to be

    now this is when things start getting a little sour;

    abizigal's enclave; this is usually where i stop playing the game because draconis is an absolute pain in the ass to take down, even with all the prep in the world, it doesn't matter, your stuff will somehow get dispelled, his breath weapon will impossibly reach you, and if anyone on your team has less than 150 HP their character portraits will soon disappear forever when they get hit by a breath weapon, pair that up with the fact that he uses invisibility so much it practically even makes true seeing useless so its even hard to target this guy with anything, and now there is a beautiful bug where when you fight the human form and "kill it" when he turns into a dragon, you are now stuck inside of him and can't move and get blasted with a remove magic that can't fail and take bajillions of acid damage, and then a smack or two and its over, party/ party member(s) dead with no way of countering, god is this fight terrible and boring

    abizigal himself; holy moly, this guy is just plain stupid on insane, first you CANNOT go melee against this guy, because he CANNOT miss with that -26 or so thac0 and he deals 78 damge a hit, for 10 attacks per round and even with hardiness you still can't live for barely more than a round before he turns that character into chop suey, so that means you need to cast protection from magic weapons on your arcane caster and trick him into attacking the caster or else your characters get chunked

    and then when you get to the dragon form, oi, just as bad as draconis in dragon form, first someone has to eat a remove magic or else everyone is just going to die from a breath weapon ( for some weird reason it doesn't matter where you are on screen, the breath weapon will hit you regardless i find ) and again, his remove magic works without fail so if you get hit by it EVERYONE in your team better have north of 150 HP or else its oblivion for them, so again exploits are needed to make sure that doesnt happen, plus i find that once he hits dragon form, if you can take him out in about 2 rounds, then its all good, but if the battle lasts longer, he just does so much nonsense BS that your team just dies AND on top of that for some reason the EE made him immune to timestop which he didn't have in vanilla, so i have no idea why they did that, it makes no sense for him to have that, but here it is, again, if i can even muster getting this far i just dread this fight because i find it so boring and stupid, i remember back in the day i would just crtl+y him just to get it over with

    balthazar; amazingly enough, this guy is a piece of cake, again proper prep and he goes down in a round or 3, some people have made the EXTRAORDINARY claim that he is much more difficult to deal with that abizigal/draconis, and to me that is complete madness especially if they are talking about an unmodded game, balthazar one on one wouldn't even stand the slightest chance against abizigal, but anyway, that is that

    oh, i guess i should talk about the challenge room fights;

    first one; obvious, pretty simple/easy even with a fresh ToB team, again prep is key

    second one; ironically i find this one the hardest, your "sarevok" version hits fast and hard and doesnt seem to miss and every hit causes a dispel magic and he seems to be faster than a hasted character, so this one actually requires quite a bit of micro managing to win without dying

    third one; really, just a piece of cake, some hardiness and whirlwinds and the fight is over in a couple of rounds

    fourth one; also really easy, they are just assassins, and aren't all that special, i think in the millions of times i did that fight ( okay, well maybe not millions, but probably at least multiple dozens ) i never had them land a backstab on anyone, and with a true seeing and some horrid wiltings and the battle is over

    fifth one; for me, i don't find this battle all that difficult, again, its with the prep, with the proper prep you don't even need to worry about the bone blade guys around your weaker members because the ravanger should fall before they become a problem, with me i ALWAYS have 3 melee characters, so just keep using up the greater whirlwinds until he falls, and if too much damage is being taken, just have a cleric continually casting mass raise dead to refill everyone's HP when need be

    final battle; for the most part, everything is fair here except for the.... third time you fight melissan i believe? the one where she casts time stop right away as soon as you see her, see on insane difficulty, enemies do insane damage, so what would happen normally is that you get teleported in from of her, she casts time stop, and when time is stopped, she just attacks your charname until it dies with no means of being able to protect yourself unless you have protection from magical weapons or absolute immunity, so on that one you have to fall back and make sure someone who can cast said spells is in front of her with said spells activated or else its over, you die and see the game over screen, but once you get pass that everything is good

    so thats my experience the the BG series when it comes to fairness/unfairness on insane difficulty with no mods and keeping all 6 members alive after battle

    i tried ascension years and years ago and while i didn't mind the demogorgon upgrade, the abizigal ascension fight was just plain stupid, where abizigal was blasting off imprisonments at almost the rate of a demilich and everything felt like it was immune to everything, and it was just a boring fight, i also noticed that when i was out of sight of the enemies, every X amount of rounds a stoneskin would just pop up on the dragons even outside of battle which i think is completely bogus, i remember beating that mod once and then getting rid of it afterwards for how frustrating and unfair it felt

    JuliusBorisovBelgarathMTH
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    Assuming you don't know what's coming, 'the most unfair fight' would go to Aec'letec. There simply isn't anything that prepares you for his gaze attack and I never managed to dispel it with any of my characters.

    An example of fair fight is Demon Knight in Durlag's Tower. You are told before fight what awaits you there and while he is very tough, I feel like that fight would be winnable for the first time player if they read carefully the dialogue before that.

    Also the final fight with Sarevok is fair, as you also know what awaits you - you are told Sarevok escaped there with his most loyal allies and is waiting for you.

    Another example of an unfair fight - getting ambushed by wyerns in a not-so-random encounter when you return knackered after clearing the Cloakwood Mines. Seems to happen every time for me.

    PokotaDinoDin
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,315
    sarevok57 wrote: »
    on top of that for some reason the EE made him immune to timestop which he didn't have in vanilla, so i have no idea why they did that, it makes no sense for him to have that, but here it is

    Timestop interfered with his dying speech in vanilla, which tended to result in him becoming unkillable. I guess making him immune was the way of fixing this bug.

    sarevok57
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 869
    Dispelling Aec'Letec's gaze ... definitely more viable in the original, when dispels were all guaranteed successes. Now that dispel spells have a caster level check, you're up against a level 12 effect. 10% to dispel with a level 8 cleric, 20% with a level 9 mage, 30% with a level 10 bard, 70% with a level 8 Inquisitor. And since some of your party is likely to be silenced, good luck with any of those.

    Or... you could use an arrow of dispelling. Guaranteed hit since the character is also held, guaranteed dispel, and all it costs you is some damage to the afflicted character.

    JuliusBorisovGrond0
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    Absolutely true, but it also assumes you are carrying arrows of dispelling with you, which sensible people maybe do, but I don't. I also disabled them, using one of the SCS mods, as they are considered OP. Also, it assumes that your archer isn't the one being held, which might be optimistic, because the archer is likely the one who would attack Aec'letec first from the distance, therefore possibly making him the first target of gaze attack (I am not sure how target selection for spell works in BG AI).

    In short, it assumes that you know what's waiting for you. All I am saying is that, as far as I remember, no other creature in BG has that nasty attack against you are basically powerless without preparation, and the game never warns you about it. It is funny how in Durlag's Tower you encounter a book that describes how Durlag fought Aec'letec, but his gaze attack (the most dangerous and most specific attack of any creature in the game) is never mentioned there.

    ilduderino
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 1,092
    If you read your journal at Durlag’s Tower then I think you get some hints about Aec’Letec’s gaze from Grael.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 869
    VanDerBerg wrote: »
    Absolutely true, but it also assumes you are carrying arrows of dispelling with you, which sensible people maybe do, but I don't. I also disabled them, using one of the SCS mods, as they are considered OP. Also, it assumes that your archer isn't the one being held, which might be optimistic, because the archer is likely the one who would attack Aec'letec first from the distance, therefore possibly making him the first target of gaze attack (I am not sure how target selection for spell works in BG AI).
    Oh, now you're bringing SCS into it? My SCS install has a subtle bug in Aec'Letec's script which renders him completely incapable of using his gaze attack. Not that you're likely to notice, since players using SCS tend to already know about the encounter and prepare answers to the gaze. (The script uses the wrong name, thus trying to cast a nonexistent spell instead.)

    Also, only one archer? My first run through the game, with the "canon" party, had three archers, and most runs I've done since have had at least two. Archery is just so good in BG1.

    Target selection for the gaze without mods ... that one is a bit weird. It's based on proximity to the protagonist, and it differs based on the protagonist's gender. Most of the time, it'll be a female PC, or the next closest character to a male PC.
    With SCS, it's a random one of the three nearest (to the demon) foes that gets targeted. Or, at least, that's what it should be.

    Grond0
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 687
    I'm going to disagree on many of these, with the exceptions of Aec'letec and maybe Draconis. The whole point of sending assassins to kill your party is to, well, kill your party. Smart assassins aren't going to wait outside while you rest, eat your breakfast, and get all prepped and ready. They are going to wait until you are vulnerable. From that perspective, I think the attacks in BG1 are spot on and give the game a sense of danger that always letting you choose the battle wouldn't.

    Moral of the story? Don't wander around unprotected and in bad shape.

    Yes, that even includes the fight at Ulgoth's Beard, which definitely pounded my first party that played ToSC. That fight was what convinced me to always have my party travel under invisibility when possible, even if it meant making more stops in the forest areas.

    Now, Aec'letec. I actually just learned you could use a potion of mirrored eyes recently, so I never used it. This battle wrecked my first party in ToSC repeatedly - even though I noticed the respawning immediately. I finally learned that the best way to handled that was have the party go in invisible and launch arrows of detonation in every corner. They might get a touch crispy, but it usually left only a few cultist standing. This fight is mildly unfair IMO because there is no real warning at all for a first time party. HOWEVER, you can send banged up party members back up to the store, which makes it more fair.

    The only reason I would tend to include Draconis is because the area where you fight him is fairly small. It is difficult to keep casters out of his area of effect, and he hits hard. Had the developers made that a full-size map, where you could have party members retreat further away, I would consider this battle to be completely fair.

    I will add that I have never played on LoB or the hardest SCS difficulties (yet), so I wasn't aware Abazigal is immune to time stop. I normally have a few party members go around the cavern taking out the ice salamanders first so it's just the party versus a single dragon - which makes a HUGE difference. (Though, arguably, it is cheese to use the FoW in this way) It is still a hard fight, but normally my parties send strong summons to keep him contained while peppering him from a safe distance with spells - usually a lot of lower resistance spells so the other stuff can actually hit. All in all, I found Draconis to be a bigger PITA than his daddy.

    DinoDinThacoBell
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    If you read your journal at Durlag’s Tower then I think you get some hints about Aec’Letec’s gaze from Grael.

    It is perfectly possible I missed this, in which case it wouldn't be an unfair fight. I don't recall death gaze being mentioned there, but I probably didn't read it carefully.
    Also, only one archer?
    Well, in my last playthrough with the canon party, I played with 1/2 of an archer (Minsc). Just personal preference, though I appreciate archers are really powerful in BG1.

    While everything you are saying is perfectly valid and true, and a very good way to deal with Aec'letec, I don't think an unsuspecting or first time play party would come to that encounter with 3 archers, all armed with arrows of dispelling and keeping in the background prepared for some death gaze that kills a person within 30 seconds unless dispelled.

    To me, it wouldn't even be obvious that dispel magic would work there. I would first probably try with death ward, assuming it can protect from the gaze attack. Then maybe with remove paralysis or cure disease before reverting to dispel magic. Not to mention the fact that he respawns in the bodies of passive cultists, also the first such case in the whole game. All of which makes that encounter quite 'unfair' for me. But I accept that opinions differ on this.

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 593
    edited July 10
    oxa9p8f4s2x2.png

    This one never felt that fair, likewise being set on in a dead end or surrounded by wyverns when I was travelling with two alleged rangers seemed cheap

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    You have Garrick. No fight is fair when you have Garrick.

    sarevok57Pokota
  • MaurvirMaurvir Member Posts: 687
    VanDerBerg wrote: »
    You have Garrick. No fight is fair when you have Garrick.

    What if you are fighting for your right to party? ;)

    Balrog99
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 593
    At least it wasn’t Eldoth

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    I never had Eldoth in my party. Surely he cannot be worse than Garrick?

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 824
    Garrick can use wands, this bonus make him useful without mentioning he can use arcane magic. Pew pew every enemy with wand of fire is a very cheap tactics in the first game, like a machine gun user.

    ilduderinoThacoBellDinoDin
  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 593
    edited July 11
    I don’t think Garrick deserves such a bad rep and he is better than Eldoth, who has a pretty pointless high strength, poor dexterity and requires you to add Skie. He also conflicts with some NPCs. In his favour he has a slight constitution bonus and can make poison arrows. Garrick can do better at range, will have better AC and you can get him very early and spec him how you like (less of an issue under the latest patches).

    ThacoBell
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    For me, it comes down to the fact that I don't particularly like bards and since I always play with a party of 6, bards to me are completely redundant. Yes, they can use wands, but I always have two mages who can use wands, so there is not much need for another one. They cannot compete with fighters and rangers for damage dealing and I don't care about pickpocketing. And lore...Meh, it saves me a few thousand coins for identifying items...in the game where I always end up with 70,000 gold in the end, which I don't know how to spend.

    And the problem with Garrick are his terrible stats. As far as I remember, he doesn't have a single stat that grants any bonus. And being a BG1 only character, he can only cast up to level 3 spells for most of the game. I don't remember correctly, but I don't think he can get to even having stoneskin with one cast per day until well into ToTSC.

    Now, if he was kitted, that would have been different.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,122
    VanDerBerg wrote: »
    I never had Eldoth in my party. Surely he cannot be worse than Garrick?

    Garrick is one of the best party members, so MOST npcs are worse than Garrick. Combining archery, spells, and wands is very powerful. Not to mention the tremendous utility of bards.

    DinoDin
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    Garrick is one of the best party members, so MOST npcs are worse than Garrick. Combining archery, spells, and wands is very powerful. Not to mention the tremendous utility of bards.

    To each their own. Everything that a bard can do, someone else can do much better and, as noted above, I don't really see their use in a full party. Never in BG1 was I in situation that I need to use 3 wands in the same round. Nor did I ever have need for their spellcasting, with two other mages in a party. But that's the way I play. I appreciate they can be very good in BG2, especially the kitted ones.

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 684
    Well yeah, if you're already arcane-heavy a Bard isn't going to add much.

    I run divine-heavy, so Garrick fills a sorely-needed niche.

  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    I love divine heavy parties! What is your party?

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,595
    edited July 11
    VanDerBerg wrote: »
    You have Garrick. No fight is fair when you have Garrick.

    Looks to me like he's using Garrick's portrait for his main character.

    EDIT: Actually, maybe not. Now I see the leather armor and crossbow. So maybe he's using Kivan's portrait?

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,122
    VanDerBerg wrote: »
    Garrick is one of the best party members, so MOST npcs are worse than Garrick. Combining archery, spells, and wands is very powerful. Not to mention the tremendous utility of bards.

    To each their own. Everything that a bard can do, someone else can do much better and, as noted above, I don't really see their use in a full party. Never in BG1 was I in situation that I need to use 3 wands in the same round. Nor did I ever have need for their spellcasting, with two other mages in a party. But that's the way I play. I appreciate they can be very good in BG2, especially the kitted ones.

    Not true, only bards have bardsong. Plus, there is no single class that can do everything a bard can do. Heck, full parties is where they truely shine, as they can fill in for almost every other class. Mage can't memorize enough spells to cover every situation? Bard can pick up the slack. Not enough thief points to cover everything? Bard haspick pockets covered. Need an item identified? Bard's got you. Wands, archery, check. Heck, level dependant spells are STRONGER when cast by a bard than a mage. Also, HLAs. Man, zero fail traps!

    DinoDinilduderino
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    edited July 11
    If we are gonna do nitpicking...

    1) A level 3 cleric can cast chant which is equivalent to level 15 bard song, -and- they can participate in fight (as opposed to a bard who cannot do anything else while performing bard song)

    2) The only thieving skills they can use is pickpocketing, which is arguably least important thing that thieves do.

    3) Need an item identified? Go to any temple or merchant and identify it for 100 gold. For those items that mages and clerics cannot identify. In the game that showers you with money - go kill Bassilus and you will likely have enough gold to identify everything that is needed in the game.

    4) Any character, including a mage, can do missile damage.

    Which leaves just their mediocre spellcasting as about the only really usable thing. But since I play with arcane heavy parties, I've never needed more arcane firepower. So, as I say, it depends on the style of play and party composition one prefers. But there is more need for pretty much every other class more than for bards.

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 593
    edited July 11
    VanDerBerg wrote: »
    4) Any character, including a mage, can do missile damage

    True, so why use an archer right?

    This thread sums it up pretty well

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/54776/garrick-is-amazing-late-game/p1

    ThacoBell
  • VanDerBergVanDerBerg Member Posts: 128
    Hey, the discussion was what characters CAN do, not what characters CAN DO GOOD. I am only saying that everything a bard can do is likely to be already covered better by someone else in your party. There certainly is benefit of having a jack-of-all-trades in your party, but bard is least likely to save your day

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,267
    in my opinion i find elven mage/thieves to be way more useful than any bard, a thief/mage can use wands, has more spells, and has better thief abilities, and can go ranged as well

    although every once in a blue moon i bring garrick along strictly for the lewlz, and to freshen up party composition instead of just doing the same boring teams over and over again

    but i do admit, for solo runs, garrick is great, he can identify and store lots of my pretty items that i think i will need in the future, just to not use 85% of them haha

  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 850
    edited July 11
    Garrick is highly underrated imo. I think he pairs perfectly in a party that uses one of the specialist mages, especially Xan. Garrick gains levels faster than a mage and thus works well with stocking his spellbook with level scaling spells -- magic missile, fireball, chromatic orb, etc. BG1 has a pretty awesome loadout of gear for him as well, with the crossbow of speed, an early +2 shortsword, an early +2 chain mail.

    IMO having a specialist mage NPC + Garrick is a stronger party composition than having two specialist mage NPC's. Garrick is the only NPC (save Eldoth) who can use the powerful mage-only charge items and a wide variety of weapons.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 11,122
    edited July 12
    @VanDerBerg " but bard is least likely to save your day"
    The only people who actually believe this either never use bards, or don't know how to use them.

    "Which leaves just their mediocre spellcasting as about the only really usable thing."
    What exactly makes it mediocre? Bards have higher caster levels than mages. Chromatic orb, dispel magic, skull trap, etc. Any spell that scales on level is monstrous in the hands of a bard.

    @sarevok57 Multiclasses are just stronger than single classes in general. Its pretty telling that you need to go to multi classes to even approach the flexibility that a bard brings.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,595
    Umm, has anyone else noticed this thread has completely derailed? I don't think the topic was "bards".

    ThacoBell
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