Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Axis & Allies 1942 Online is now available in Early Access! Buy it on Steam. The FAQ is available.
New Premium Module: Tyrants of the Moonsea! Read More
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

An Extremely Masochistic Solo Challenge (BGEE, BG:ToB, BG2EE)

Abstract aka tl;dr:
This challenge requires the player to succesfully complete ‘Improved final battle’ (SCS, BG2EE), ‘Improved Ilyich’ (Tactics, BG:ToB), a hardcore version of ‘Party’s items are taken from them in Spellhold’ (SCS, BG2EE), and beat the defenders of Ust Natha from ‘Improved Drow’ (SCS, BG2EE) – all with the same character.

1. The challenge naturally requires BGEE, BG:ToB (preferably, the GOG version), and BG2EE installed. SCS should be v. 28. The mods required for each game are listed below:

BGEE:

~STRATAGEMS/SETUP-STRATAGEMS.TP2~ #0 #1000 // Initialise mod (all other components require this): v28
~STRATAGEMS/SETUP-STRATAGEMS.TP2~ #0 #5900 // Initialise AI components (required for all tactical and AI components): v28
~STRATAGEMS/SETUP-STRATAGEMS.TP2~ #0 #7250 // Improved final battle: v28

(Only the basic components and the final battle.)

BG2:ToB:

~BG2FIXPACK/SETUP-BG2FIXPACK.TP2~ #0 #0 // BG2 Fixpack - Core Fixes: v10
~SETUP-TACTICS.TP2~ #0 #0 // Improved Ilyich (requires ToB)

(A standard BG2 Fixpack, plus Improved Ilyich.)

BG2EE:

~STRATAGEMS/SETUP-STRATAGEMS.TP2~ #0 #1000 // Initialise mod (all other components require this): v28
~STRATAGEMS/SETUP-STRATAGEMS.TP2~ #0 #5900 // Initialise AI components (required for all tactical and AI components): v28
~STRATAGEMS/SETUP-STRATAGEMS.TP2~ #0 #8090 // Party's items are taken from them in Spellhold: v28
~STRATAGEMS/SETUP-STRATAGEMS.TP2~ #0 #8140 // Slightly Improved Drow -> Upgrade Ust Natha's defences: v28
~STRATAGEMS/SETUP-STRATAGEMS.TP2~ #0 #3070 // Move Vhailor's Helm into Throne of Bhaal: v28

(Apart from Spellhold and Ust Natha mods, I find it necessary to remove Vhailor’s Helm from SoA, as it is a potential source of way too many brutal exploits.)

The stratagems.ini file found in BG2EE/stratagems should be changed to include the line Spellhold_Hardcore (1) instead of Spellhold_Hardcore (0). That will remove the non-magical gear you get in a standard ‘Party's items are taken from them in Spellhold’ component.

Additionally, the players should install this tiny mod for every game (BGEE, BG2, BG2EE): http://ylilammi.com/mods/AverageHitpointsOnLevelUp.7z. It makes the game always roll average hp on level up, thus preventing both unrealistic maximization and consistently bad luck with dice. More info about the mod: http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/13927/average-hitpoints-on-level-up.

2. The gameplay policy is quite simple:

 The game should be played on Insane difficulty at all times.

 You only roll a character once, at the beginning of BGEE. You should solo the saga with that character. While die rolls at the creation screen are not limited, to keep it all honest, players are required to record the creation process (with fraps, for example). This is a simple mechanism to discourage unrealistic character builds. If you plan a godlike 95 pts character with Str value of 18/00 – sure, go ahead. But you will spend several hours of your precious lifetime rolling virtual dice like a rabid maniac.

 Basic NPC interaction is permitted. You are allowed to accept Imoen into the party to rob her of Oil of Speed, for instance. However, you are not allowed to let Imoen pick locks/disarm traps for you. Any gameplay interaction is prohibited, the sole exception to the rule being accepting the character into the party temporarily to trigger his/her personal quest.

 No fake-talking and, in BG2:ToB, no potion-swapping. If you don’t know what either of those is, you are in a very good place. For reference’s sake, though: https://kb.speeddemosarchive.com/Infinity_Engine#Inventory_Stack_Underflow

 A player must record and upload the following 5 video fragments: rolling the character (as mentioned above), final battle in BGEE, Improved Ilyich in BG2:ToB, ‘naked’ Spellhold and Ust Natha defenders in BG2EE. The videos must include a review of character stats and inventory - again, only to keep it honest, gentlemen. It’s important to stress that no saving and loading is allowed during the course of any of the four recorded challenges (yes, I have noticed that Ilyich and, especially, Spellhold are sort of long).

 While the rest of your adventure will remain unrecorded, please spare yourself the embarrassment of being asked questions like: ‘How on Earth could you get a Club of Detonation so early with a Barbarian?’ or ‘So, how did you deafeat Firkraag without fake-talking with a level 9 Paladin?’ If you feel that some of your possessions or, say, your unusually high xp level should be commented upon, do it – just describe verbally how it came to be.

 Technically, you should import your BGEE character to BG2:ToB for the Improved Ilyich part of the challenge, therefore, the OH kits are, unfortunately, prohibited (that includes Blackguard, Dwarven Defender, Shadowdancer, Dragon Disciple, and the Monk kits). Hopefully, that still leaves a lot of possibilities open. After you complete Improved Ilyich, just import your BGEE character into BG2EE and replay a starting dungeon, then proceed with the game normally. Yes, that means nothing is to be gained from killing those ultra-tough enemies in Improved Ilyich mod. Life is harsh. FYI, I have toyed with the idea of importing the post-Ilyich character directly into BG2EE with Dungeon-Be-Gone mod installed (http://www.pocketplane.net/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=98&Itemid=79). Sounds nice in theory, but I am afraid the xp/item boost from Improved Ilyich is going to be more significant than it might seem at first glance.

For the record – no, I have no idea how to complete all four challenges with the same character that should also be adequately efficient on his own during the other parts of the game (though I have several thoughts on the subject). But I surely dare you to try it, gentlemen!

BlackravenJuliusBorisovCrevsDaak

Comments

  • TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
    Turns out some of the character kits (not the OH kits, the classic BG2 ones) are not transferred smoothly to BG2 from BGEE. By 'not transferred smoothly' I mean BG2 tends to crash to desktop :) I'll see what can be done about this.

    Perhaps making an Improved Ilyich conversion for BG2EE will be easier than going through all the trouble of faulty importing.

  • TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
    A rather obvious option (not involving me struggling with the old Weimer mod conversion to BG2EE, hehe) has just sprang to my mind. If the BGEE character does not import into BG2, the player can create an exact replica of that character using ShadowKeeper.

    Blackraven
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,198
    Interesting challenge. I won't pick up the gauntlet as I'm really no that great a player and besides I don't have the tools to record the character creation and the battles you mentioned, but I'd follow this thread with interest if someone was to proceed with the challenge.
    Btw I'm not too fond of 'naked' Spellhold or Ust Natha fights since that rule strongly favors casters over non-casters and I think that shouldn't be a desired effect of the challenge.

    lolienJuliusBorisovGotural
  • TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
    >Btw I'm not too fond of 'naked' Spellhold or Ust Natha fights since that rule strongly favors casters over >non-casters and I think that shouldn't be a desired effect of the challenge.

    I'm not sure about that.

    1. My common sense tells me that the best character classes for a naked Spellhold should be monks and druids (kitted more so than pureclass).

    2. The Ust Natha crowd is all magic resistant to a pretty unforgiving level (50-80%) -- these guys are all drow, remember? So the only spells I can think of one can use reliably, self-buffs aside, are: Sunfire, Imprisonment, Dragon's Breath for wizards, and Bolt of Glory, Firestorm, Implosion for priests. Either way, the best character for this challenge is probably a ranged Blackguard with Arrows of Detonation (yes, there are some in the OH areas/on the OH characters). An Assassin/Fighter is probably acceptable as well, though less Poison Weapon charges/day and no 15th level Aura of Despair will hurt his performance.

  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,198
    Tisamon said:

    Either way, the best character for this challenge is probably a ranged Blackguard with Arrows of Detonation (yes, there are some in the OH areas/on the OH characters). An Assassin/Fighter is probably acceptable as well, though less Poison Weapon charges/day and no 15th level Aura of Despair will hurt his performance.

    Hmm, interesting. I must admit that I didn't how 'naked' you character is supposed to be. What gear will Charname be missing?

    Why don't you try this challenge yourself, post here, and see if others are willing to give it a shot as well?

  • TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
    1. Well, with Spellhold_Hardcore (1) you basically are naked :) No non-magical gear, too. Now, I admit it doesn't matter that much for a mage -- so one will lose 5 alacrity points from Robe of Vecna and Silver Amulet, but not much else. It's just that one might be forced to actually fight during a Spellhold adventure, and mages generally don't perform all that well without a solid frontline (yeah, Tenser-Schmenser, but honestly, they still aren't that hot without a huge barbarian protecting them).

    And my quote regarding a Blackguard/an Assassin refers _only_ to the Ust Natha challenge, not to the Spellhold. During Spellhold... Ugh... The Way of the Poison Fist, anyone?

    2. I've done a fair share of different BG/BG2 runs in the past (some under this nickname, more recently), and I'm working currently on my HoF emulator (full party playtest run with SCS+HoF emulator enabled), which is quite time-consuming due to the extreme nature of changes HoF introduces.

    My evaluation about this particular challenge is that it's going to require Sauron-like pre-planning (with a more favorable outcome, though -- I hope!) and patience in spades. Now, if somebody would pick up the gauntlet, I'd be more motivated to get it all started.

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,128
    A good challenge I really like doing is a survival-like game in the improved Ust Natha, I tend to do that whenever I reach Ust Natha (I play no reload), my longest time (without running away and hiding with Invisibility, where I lasted 3 hours or more) was an hours and a half, then they took me down to 6 HP and since I had no more spells left I decided to ran out, most of the times I ran out so I don't lose the game (I play no reload, again), other times one of the best hunting groups ends up killing me :|

    Also, I don't play Insane difficulty--it's really not my type of 'harder game', I prefer getting blasted by a level 36 Mage on level 1 than dying when a commoner hits you (both happened to me, one while testing my level adding utility and SCS and the other one when trying to roll a Druid in BG:EE with the difficulty on insane).
    Tisamon said:

    For the record – no, I have no idea how to complete all four challenges with the same character that should also be adequately efficient on his own during the other parts of the game (though I have several thoughts on the subject). But I surely dare you to try it, gentlemen!

    I say you could play BGT :'D that's what I am going to do, but I'll have to leave this for my next install since the actual one doesn't have Tactics installed.

    Blackraven
  • TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
    Both Tutu and Trilogy suffer from, well, being built on a BG2:ToB engine. At this point, there is no doubt in my mind the EE versions of both games are vastly preferable to Tutu/Trilogy -- stabler, cleaner, considerably less bug-ridden, plus having lots of new content. I am not willing to sacrifice all that for the ability to install Improved Ilyich.

    lolien
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Sunfire doesn't bypass MR in the EE, it was a bug which has been fixed.

    Anyway I still think the Sorcerer should be the best for this kind of challenge. The Sorcerer can do anything, like this :

    BlackravenJuliusBorisovlunar
  • TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
    @Gotural‌

    1. A sorcerer? Well, the mere fact that someone recorded a video of himself doing amazing things with a sorcerer (I'm ready to assume, for argument's sake, that they are amazing) doesn't mean much, objectively. It's just some weird form of BG idol-worship :) Let's put it this way: I can solo the whole saga with a barbarian on Insane without a single reload, barely breaking a sweat. Will you think from that moment on that a barbarian "can do anything"?

    2. This Breudayael guy is playing BG2 without SCS (an unrelated sidenote, just surprised: I don't know how he can consider it soloing, while he obviously has a full party with him), unless I missed something. SCS drastically buffs the enemy caster AI and spell repertoire. The change is felt immediately by the caster characters. The opposing casters basically strip you of protections in a matter of seconds and use their own sequencers very efficiently.

    3. Well, the Sunfire corrigenda only supports my position further: a pure wizard-type character is definitely not cut for this challenge, mainly because enemies are not catastrophically dumb and know very well how to handle casters in SCS. A dual/multi-classed wizard is a wholly different sort of beast, of course.

  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    - The thing is, the Barbarian can't do what you described. A Barbarian doesn't have PfMW, he cannot cast Breach or True Sight, etc.

    At some point in the saga you will get Imprisonnement or vorpal hit or overcome in melee etc by something and you will die.

    You can't solo SCS Insane the saga with every class, because if you don't play a profane spellcaster, you will need to rely on luck at some point of the game, and because the game is extremely long, you will die at some point. It's especially more important if you intent to complete every quests/encounters.

    For example, PfMW is the only ability I'm aware of that prevents from being hit by "on hit effect" like stats drain, Level Drain, Vorpal hit, etc, which bypass Stoneskin and Mirror Image.

    And I seriously don't think it's possible to solo the Improved Irenicus in Hell encounter from SCS with a Cleric or Druid for example.

    - I don't think you really watched the video, as Breudayael is the well known name of the foe he is fighting, not the name of the player. This encounter is often refered as the hardest modded encounter of all times. He isn't soloing the entire game, only this fight, which is even harder because he splitted his experience and gear between 6 characters, and for this fight he uses only his Sorcerer.

    Here is a little summary of their abilities (taken directly from the video) :

    "Breu is a drow that is immune to all but +6 weapons, immune to all single target spells, immune to 1-5 spells, immune to ALL crowd control, immune to death magic, 75% resistant to all other magic, permanently invisible, with greatly increased cast speed.
    He also casts mass heal (to full) on all his party members when he can not see you.
    Also if you kill Ana before him, game over.

    Drusilla is a regular rank 50 mage with borked scripting that makes her have endless chain contingencies, spell traps, absolute immunities and other defensive spells. Tons of damaging spells. No cheesy protections that i know of.

    Anastacia has protection from Bards (which means that Bards can not target her with any attack or magic) is immune to time stop, some other things too, drains 3 charisma with each hit, deals 90+ base damage on insanity, per hit.
    If she dies before Breu, you lose.
    She has a high chance of instantly killing you in one hit.

    Thordek is permanently impr. hastened. He has 90% resistance to most damaging magic. Immune to low level spells. Protected from.. elves.. Unfortunate, because our Sorcerer is an elf. His attacks have a chance of instantly killing you (vorpal)"

    For example here, nothing except a profane caster could have done it. A Barbarian would get Vorpal hit or Charisma drain to death in a few seconds. And that goes for every class except the ones who can cast PfMW.

    - A good high level Sorcerer or Wild Mage can have a endless supply of spells while casting 4 spells or more every rounds, forever, while being immune to everything, forever. Dealing with highly magic resistant enemies is not hard, just a bit slower. Most of them can be destroyed by Mordenkenen's Swords (the Drows for example).

    And you can still easely outplay the enemies casters with SCS, they are very logical but pretty dumb (IMO).

    JuliusBorisovlunar
  • TisamonTisamon Member Posts: 209
    edited August 2014
    @Gotural

    >The thing is, the Barbarian can't do what you described. A Barbarian doesn't have PfMW, he cannot cast Breach or True Sight, etc.

    At some point in the saga you will get Imprisonnement or vorpal hit or overcome in melee etc by something and you will die.

    You can't solo SCS Insane the saga with every class, because if you don't play a profane spellcaster, you will need to rely on luck at some point of the game, and because the game is extremely long, you will die at some point. It's especially more important if you intent to complete every quests/encounters.<

    You are seriously off the mark here. Let's make some order. The cold hard facts are: (1) I surely can solo the critical paths of both EE games with a barbarian on Insane -- in fact, I've already done that. It's not "extremely long", as you elegantly put it: BGEE will be done with in 2 hours, BG2EE - in less than 4. It's one of the many solo runs I've done, it's recorded and uploaded to my youtube account (I think it's still there). (2) I've never mentioned SCS or other difficulty mods should be installed, and I've never tried a full solo run with SCS, Tactics, or Improved Asylum. (3) Obviously, I do not intend to complete every quest/encounter -- only the bare minimum needed to complete the game(s) quickly and efficiently. Why on Earth would I do otherwise?

    >as Breudayael is the well known name of the foe he is fighting, not the name of the player<

    English is not my mother tongue, but to the best of my knowledge "this/that X guy" is a fairly common descriptive phrase, essentialy meaning "this/that guy related to X". Thus, "that Al-Qaeda guy" can describe both a journalist famous for his series of articles about the organization and some prominent terrorist. It doesn't mean the journalist's (or the terrorist's) family name is Al-Qaeda. Would be a funny assumption, though.

    Regarding the "well-known" part: actually, I think you grossly overrate the popularity of Improved Asylum. I play (and discuss) this game for years, and while I've surely heard of the mod several times, it's nowhere nearly as popular as Ascension, Tactics, or SCS.

    >A good high level Sorcerer or Wild Mage can have a endless supply of spells while casting 4 spells or more every rounds, forever, while being immune to everything, forever. Dealing with highly magic resistant enemies is not hard, just a bit slower. Most of them can be destroyed by Mordenkenen's Swords (the Drows for example). And you can still easely outplay the enemies casters with SCS, they are very logical but pretty dumb (IMO).<

    Well, these surely are pretty grand statements with only an antediluvian non-EE non-SCS weird mod video to back them up. However, I do not want this discussion to deteriorate into the simple: "Sorcerers rock!", "Nope, sorcerers suck!", "No, no, they rock!", "No, no, no, they suck!", etc. If you are convinced that completing the challenge I've described in the original post is such a cakewalk with a sorcerer, please do so -- record it, and put me to shame. Currently, though, I believe your assessment to be incorrect. Very much so :)

    PS: I sincerely hope my reply doesn't sound hostile or over-aggressive. Please remember that disagreeing with you != offending you.

    Post edited by Tisamon on
Sign In or Register to comment.