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Weapon Choice

(I apologize in advance if this is posted in the wrong category, please correct me if that is the case)
I just created a Shadowdancer, and I was wondering if there is any advantage to using a dagger over a short sword or any other weapon. The question isn't really more complicated than that, I just want to know if I should settle for a decent dagger or grab a (potentially much more powerful) different weapon. Keep in mind that while I understand D&D really well, I'm new to BG2. Thanks.

Comments

  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    Short swords aren't really worth it unless you want to use them for RP purposes.

    Dagger is the weakest proficiency class in the game, yet they have the most powerful weapon (BG1) but the question is if it's worth it just for that one weapon.

    When you backstab you take the weapon damage into consideration, so if you use a longsword (1d8) you'll deal more damage than with a short sword (1d6) or even a dagger (1d4).
  • AkmenosAkmenos Member Posts: 2
    Thanks, that helps. A dagger is great for RPing, but the damage is awful even with a backstab multiplier. Is there a decent dagger in SoA?
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    Akmenos said:

    Thanks, that helps. A dagger is great for RPing, but the damage is awful even with a backstab multiplier. Is there a decent dagger in SoA?

    There are no decent normal daggers in SoA, but there are a few great throwing daggers. The throwing daggers in BG2 use the bastard sword damage (2d4) so they are very powerful, and you can get a good one very early and then you can upgrade it to a better one a little bit further ahead.

    You shouldn't pick daggers in SoA for melee, you should pick them as a ranged weapon.


    Akmenos
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,496
    Daggers aren't that bad, and sre superb in BG1, one of the best if not the best proficiency. The key in BG1 is that 1 pip handles melee with the DoV, and you have have high str throwing daggers are very damaging, and are 2 apr, so they will out perform bows in BG2 ranged, if you have decent str. No magic throwing dsggers in BG1, but thd Dag of Venom is brutally awesome.

    In BG2, there are two incredible throwing daggers, which you can still melee with. Poison Throwing daggers are pretty decent. So, taking dagger and maybe SWS to start with in BG1 nabs you a good ranged sttack and pretty solid early bsckstab option. Next pip will probably be quarterstaffs, followed by THS, letting you do either big damage or poison in BG1, and huge damsge in BG2.

    Just in BG2, aim to get the Boomerang Dagger asap, and enjoy putting the hurt on folks at a distance.

    Daggers slow down at the end, but are still usually the best rsnged choice for pure thieves.
    JuliusBorisov
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    edited October 2014
    DreadKhan said:

    Daggers aren't that bad, and sre superb in BG1, one of the best if not the best proficiency. The key in BG1 is that 1 pip handles melee with the DoV, and you have have high str throwing daggers are very damaging, and are 2 apr, so they will out perform bows in BG2 ranged, if you have decent str. No magic throwing dsggers in BG1, but thd Dag of Venom is brutally awesome.

    In BG2, there are two incredible throwing daggers, which you can still melee with. Poison Throwing daggers are pretty decent. So, taking dagger and maybe SWS to start with in BG1 nabs you a good ranged sttack and pretty solid early bsckstab option. Next pip will probably be quarterstaffs, followed by THS, letting you do either big damage or poison in BG1, and huge damsge in BG2.

    Just in BG2, aim to get the Boomerang Dagger asap, and enjoy putting the hurt on folks at a distance.

    Daggers slow down at the end, but are still usually the best rsnged choice for pure thieves.

    Throwing daggers aren't good at all in BG1. There are no magical throwing daggers so even darts are much better. If you're after a weapon you can get STR bonus from there is a throwing axe that has almost twice the damage, and a sling is a much better choice. They weight too much, you can carry only a few of them and the moment you get +1 arrows for your bow, it will deal more damage than the throwing daggers even with a STR bonus.

    As a thief you'll want to pick Dart or Crossbow over Dagger as your ranged weapon. Magical darts are awesome in BG1 with stunning and poison effects, the crossbow have some incredible powerful bolts as well. You'll never get a magical throwing dagger in BG1 so you won't be able to deal damage to enemies like Flesh Golems and other that require a magical weapon to hit (werewolfs, skeletal warriors, etc).

    Dart > 3 APR
    Shortbow > 2APR
    Light Crossbow of Speed > 2 APR
    Dagger > 2 APR

    So even the APR argument is a loss.

    Dagger of Venom is the best weapon in BG1, agreed. But that is ONE good weapon for that proficiency. So it's by far the worst proficiency with one incredible good item. Daggers are by default bad because the attack speed on them isn't important at all when you can get the same speed on other weapons that deal much more damage.

    I'll agree with the unique throwing daggers being awesome in BG2, but then you'll still find items like the Firetooth which is a better choice. If i played a rogue i would pick crossbow over daggers for a ranged weapon, and only take daggers if i wanted the Dagger of Venom in BG1.
    meagloth
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,496
    ...except for str bonus? For throwing weapons. Makes a pretty beefy difference, if you went Half Orc or bumped it to 19. Good Rep gets DUHM, remember, so getting +7 damage is easy. Thats pretty damn good compared to a shortbow, and the same proficiency handles melee.

    d8+3 ×2 apr for the Army Scythe and +2 bolts = 15 damage
    d4+7 ×2 apr for dagger = 19 damage

    Shortbows get arrows of detonation, but proficiency is irrelevant there I'd say. For pure shadowdancer, mot seeing any downside to boosting backstab with SWS AND getting a great ranged choice right at lvl 1.
    JuliusBorisov
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    edited October 2014
    DreadKhan said:

    ...except for str bonus? For throwing weapons. Makes a pretty beefy difference, if you went Half Orc or bumped it to 19. Good Rep gets DUHM, remember, so getting +7 damage is easy. Thats pretty damn good compared to a shortbow, and the same proficiency handles melee.

    d8+3 ×2 apr for the Army Scythe and +2 bolts = 15 damage
    d4+7 ×2 apr for dagger = 19 damage

    Shortbows get arrows of detonation, but proficiency is irrelevant there I'd say. For pure shadowdancer, mot seeing any downside to boosting backstab with SWS AND getting a great ranged choice right at lvl 1.

    So you're going with this based on him being a half orc with 19 STR?

    A half orc rogue with 19 STR and DuHM for a few rounds with throwing daggers? When you can constantly deal the same damage with a bow or crossbow? And most people aren't going to pick half-orcs for their rogues, so you'll deal even less damage there.

    Now let's look at what ammunition will deal the same or even more damage than those throwing daggers, without an insane stat requirement. And there are a ton of these arrows, bolts and darts around BG1.

    Arrows of Biting (More)
    Arrows of Ice (Same)
    Arrows of Fire (More)
    Piercing Arrows (Same)
    Bolts of Biting (More)
    Bolts of Lightning (More)
    Darts of Wounding (More)

    So even an elf rogue with 8 STR will deal more damage with these than a half-orc with 19 STR.

    In BG1 it's about Dagger of Venom, the only reason you would pick dagger over something else.

    In BG2 you have more choices, but dagger proficiency is still one of the worst picks.

    And if i'm not completely wrong darts also get bonus from STR, which would make them better than daggers at pretty much everything. More APR, only one less damage and you'll find some very powerful magical darts in BG1.

    [Edited] You can pick up the eagle bow for your rogue which adds another +2 damage which makes even Arrows of Ice and Piercing Arrows deal more damage. And you'll have better Thac0 with a bow or crossbow than throwing daggers.
    Soren_The_Wild
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,496
    Wut? Half orc with DUHM nabs what, 22 str, 23? Nah, I just calced 19 str, which everyone but Halflings can get. Heck, with DUHM, a halfling can hit it too, and exceed it.

    Also, you are calling me on 'stat requirements', and countering with 'oh yeah? Well REALLY EXPENSIVE stuff you can barely use until Chapter 5 (and then have not unlimited ammo) can occasionally do more damage than weapons you can literally get unlimited for free!' I have to wonder about you. I used to think you were cool!

    So, if you're going to exagerate, lets check out what a halforc gets to compete. That'd be... 23 str is legit possible twice per day in end game. I just said 19 str, because thats possible even for non maxed out good guys. As in, CLEARLY NOT insane stat requirements. Frankly, there are plenty of Potions of Strength, meaning a strength 3 Shadowdancer can nab 21 str for any really challenging fights. Yet you magicly declare 19 to be insane?? Pass the bottle boy, I want a hit too.

    So, 23 str with throwing daggers?
    d4 + 11 × 2 = 27 damage for a pure rogue. Thats pretty insane in BG1. Especially unlimited use and free. And no save vs that, so yeah, late game? Your table up there ain't so pretty, when most enemies will make an unmodified save. So, bolts of lightning are hands down the best, moreso if you make the save. So, lets see!

    d8 + 1 + 2d4 × 2 = 21 damage. 31 damage if they fail a save, and you do NOT have an unlimited supply. Or early access. And you assuredly cannot backstab with a crossbow or shortbow. And we're talking Shadowdancers here, them that love to backstab! SWS and Dagger are the best choices a Shadowdancer can make for versatility, and utility. +1 to crits is huge early, especially with Thief BAB.

    Darts don't get the bonus from str. Darts are for unhinged Fighters and Assassins.
    JuliusBorisov
  • SionIVSionIV Member Posts: 2,673
    edited October 2014
    To get that high damage you need to be the highest level you can reach in Baldur's Gate, and you'll be a slave to DuHM. The moment i get out of candlekeep i can get the damage I've shown you. You got an unlimited supply of Arrows of Ice and Fire Arrows. Between High Hedge, Ulgoth's beard and the Smithy in Beregost you got enough special ammunition for any weapon to take you through the hard fights and they aren't that expensive. When you reach the big city, you'll have enough for the rest of the game.

    Throwing daggers are bad compared to the rest, requires an insane STR and high level (DuHM) to be useful, weight a lot in your inventory and you can only have stacks of 40.

    Not worth it, no matter how you turn it.
    Soren_The_Wild
  • JLeeJLee Member Posts: 563
    Akmenos said:

    (I apologize in advance if this is posted in the wrong category, please correct me if that is the case)
    I just created a Shadowdancer, and I was wondering if there is any advantage to using a dagger over a short sword or any other weapon. The question isn't really more complicated than that, I just want to know if I should settle for a decent dagger or grab a (potentially much more powerful) different weapon. Keep in mind that while I understand D&D really well, I'm new to BG2. Thanks.

    Greetings!

    I might consider long swords as there are several very good ones and there aren't many NPCs that come with proficiencies in them. They also come with a variety other helpful special abilities/spells.

    Katanas are a good choice as well. One of the single best weapons in SoA is a katana.

    Scimitar and quarterstaff are also good choices as there are +4 versions available early, if you know where to look.
    Blackraven
  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    Welcome to the forum!

    Since you said that you are new to BG2, I assume that your question is in relation to BG2, and thus I will help you move the thread to the BG2 forum, so answers will hopefully be more relevant to your specific situation.

    If my assumption is incorrect and you wanted general advice about weapons for the entire saga, then let me know and I'll move this to General Discussions, or you can do it yourself by editing the original post.
    JuliusBorisov
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,482
    Quarterstaffs are a safe bet in either game.
    abacusSionIVDreadKhanJuliusBorisov
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,496
    elminster said:

    Quarterstaffs are a safe bet in either game.

    I never did find that throwing staff. ;) daggers are more versatile, especially BG1, but in BG2, daggers are better ranged than melee.

    That said, as the contrary opinion will not do the decency of math posts, don't see the earlier stuff getting settled (still say you cant do better as a Shsdowdancer than take Dagger and SWS at lvl 1!). The money you save on ammo will cover the cost of many, many buffin potions and scrolls.
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 12,607
    Boys... Boys... Don't fight over *daggers, please!

    @Akmenos‌

    Your character is a thief and a thief gets new proficiencies every 4 levels that means you'll have enough pips to cover nearly every weapon in BG2. At the 12th level (near the very start of BG2) you'll have 2 starting proficiencies, 1 proficiency from the 4th level, 1 proficiency from the 8th level and 1 proficiency from the 12th level = 5 proficiencies. More than enough to take *daggers, *quarterstaffs, *darts, *single weapon style, *two-handed weapon style.

    Or you can always take long swords instead of quarterstaffs.

    It's not a fighter when you have to choose wisely in which weapons you put 2+ proficiencies.

    A dagger is absolutely viable in BG1, the Dagger of Venom is one of the best weapons in this game. If you have low STR, you'll get STR-enhancing item any way in the game, so the damage even from a dagger will be good.

    I like combining daggers and darts in fact. Darts for darts of wounding and darts of stunning and daggers for throwing daggers with a high damage that comes from STR bonuses.

    I like to RP my thief with a dagger.
    DreadKhanrufus_hobartBlackravenKaigen
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,302
    edited October 2014
    Shorswords are not terrible in bg2. You can get very good ones very early in the game. From the top of my head I can remember a short sword that makes you immune to hold and paralysis, a shortsword that gives extra attacks, another one that gives mirror image one per day, and +3 or higher enchanted shortswords are also available as quest rewards.

    Longswords are plenty and powerful too, but shortswords have an amazing attack speed when compared to them, and attack speed is very important for a dedicated backstabber as well. Then again the best early bacsktab weapon is Namarra long sword that does an amazing base 1d8+4 damage for some reason, despite being only +2 enchanted with +2 to hit. Bonus damage in weapons are great cos they get multiplied by the backstab modifier as well. A shortsword+2 on a triple backstab will do (1d6+2)x3=9 to 24 damage. Namarra does an amazing (1d8+4)x3=15 to 36 damage. It does %50 more damage with a backstab!

    With my pure thief in bg2 I got longsword, shortsword, single weapon and crossbow at the start. I play tactical. Switching shortsword for their special abilities (when facing paralysing enemies Arbane is great!) or to Namarra when to land a lethal backstab. Crossbow is decent for damage with electrical or biting bolts. I get scimitar next to get Belm's extra attack when I need to do some heavy meleeing. I am close to Underdark so got dagger right now to get the amazing Firetooth dagger. It is all about planning when/where to get the weapon and when/how to use them most effectively.
    BlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,059
    lunar said:

    shortswords have an amazing attack speed when compared to them, and attack speed is very important for a dedicated backstabber as well.

    I disagree. First of all, SS have a higher SPEED FACTOR, which is not "attack speed" in a classical sense as it does NOT translate to more attacks per round - you only attack earlier in the round, but not more often. Speed factor does not increase your damage output in any (non-trivial) way.
    Secondly, you can only ever perform one backstab, and it happens near-instantaneously - speed factor is practically irrelevant to backstab performance. In fact, given that BS involves multipliers and short swords have a fairly low base damage (1d6), they are among the WORST choices for backstabbing; so are daggers, by the way. Not very flavorful, is it :/
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 1,810
    rules would make so much more sense if you were to get a 'backstab modifier' modifier based on size and sharpness of the weapon. for example large weapons get -1x, blunt weapons get -1x, daggers get +2x. based on this,
    quarterstaff would get -2x (blunt, large)
    staff spear -1x (large)
    club -1x (blunt)
    longsword/katana/scimitar -1x (large)
    shortsword/wakizashi/ninja-to - no change
    dagger +2x


  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,302

    lunar said:

    shortswords have an amazing attack speed when compared to them, and attack speed is very important for a dedicated backstabber as well.

    I disagree. First of all, SS have a higher SPEED FACTOR, which is not "attack speed" in a classical sense as it does NOT translate to more attacks per round - you only attack earlier in the round, but not more often. Speed factor does not increase your damage output in any (non-trivial) way.
    Secondly, you can only ever perform one backstab, and it happens near-instantaneously - speed factor is practically irrelevant to backstab performance. In fact, given that BS involves multipliers and short swords have a fairly low base damage (1d6), they are among the WORST choices for backstabbing; so are daggers, by the way. Not very flavorful, is it :/
    If the target is moving rnadomly, you need to initiate the attack quickly to land a backstab. That's where I find the better speed factor more useful for.

    elminsterJuliusBorisov
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,059
    edited October 2014
    It's an exceedingly minor advantage. Even with slow weapons it's basically trivial to place a BS, not to mention that most of the time you won't be doing it to targets that move a lot in the first place - either because they're attacking someone else, or because you're ambushing them and they aren't attacking anyone at all. Really, speed factor is such a small difference it's barely even noticeable, backstab or not. And it's certainly nothing you would give up bigger backstabs for, not even close.
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,496
    You can also cheeseball with fast weapons by attacking and running away. Boots of Speed help.

    The most powerful weapon thieves can utilize in early SoA imho is Celestial Fury. 4-13 base damage, and uber side effects. Average damage in a ×3 backstab is 25.5, max is 39. Pretty devestating weapon.
    JuliusBorisov
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,059
    I believe you can buy a Staff of Striking in Trademeet, which is probably more damage due to the static modifier (too lazy to look up the non-modded stats and do the math :P). But yes, Celestial Fury (or any good katana) is a great choice.
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,496
    Well, I didnt ssy it did the most direct damage, right? ;)
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,059
    No argument from me! Celestial Fury is definitely a great weapon in SoA, even if it's not the most damaging. Unless you are going for an advanced-level maximum-damage setup, it will serve very well.
    JuliusBorisov
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