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BG2 Solo SCS Spell Guide

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  • DemivrgvsDemivrgvs Member Posts: 315
    @Jaheiras_Witness any hope to see your ideas on the other spell levels? :)

  • Livegood118Livegood118 Member Posts: 48
    edited December 2015
    Sorry, I was just reading over this thread again and was wondering if someone knowledgeable with how SCS spells work can confirm a couple of things for me:

    -------------Question 1----------------------------

    Under SCS Rules, and not including charge items, is it the case that Spell Shield will be protected by an enemy mage's innate immunity to spells of a certain level and below SUCH THAT:

    Option 1

    Vs. an ordinary, non-lich spell caster with spellshield and other spell protections – a spell protection remover of any level and then a Spell Strike will be enough to remove all of their spell protections under any circumstances

    Vs. A Lich spellcaster with spellshield and other spell protections – any spell protection remover that's lvl 6 and above and then a Spell Strike will be enough to remove all of their spell protections under any circumstances

    Vs. A Demi-Lich spellcaster with spellshield and other spell protections – the only thing that will burn all of his spell protections is two spellstrikes

    OR

    Option 2

    Is it the case under SCS Rules that a Spell Shield will not be protected by an enemy mage's innate immunity to spells of a certain level and below SUCH THAT a Spell Thrust and then a Spellstrike is enough to remove all of anything's spell protections in the game

    ---------------Question 2-------------------------

    Under SCS Rules, where a spellcaster is under the influence of Timestop and casts a series of spells against a target, will the spells always take effect in the order they are cast OR a different order depending on the individual spell or type of spell cast?

    E.g. Assuming that Option 2 is correct above in Question 1 and I'm fighting an enemy Lich with Spell Shield, Spell Turning, Spell Deflection, Spell Trap, Improved Invisibility, Spell Immunity: Abjuration and Spell Immunity: Divination and all of the Combat Protections (Protection From Elements, Protection From Magic, Protection from Energy) and I have amulet of power + robe of vecna equipped. I cast Timestop > Improved Alacrity > Spell Thrust > Spell Strike > True Sight > another casting of Time Stop so that it takes effect within about a second of the original Time Stop ending ending > Improved Alacrity > Breach > +as many dragons breaths and horrid wiltings as possible = Dead Lich.

    Can anything go wrong in the above example?
    --------------------------------------------



  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    edited December 2015
    @Livegood118

    Question 1 : I'm pretty sure the option 1 is the correct one. You shouldn't be able to cast Spell Thrust against a Lich. But under SCS rules you could also cast a Breach spell to destroy the Spell Shield against the same Lich (Breach affects Liches and Rakshasas despite being a level 5 spell with SCS).

    Question 2 : The order of the spells you casted has no influence assuming you are not moving between two spellcasting. What's important is the travelling speed of each different spell, some spells "move" to their target faster than others.

    Example 1 : Breach is faster than spell protections removal spells, like Spell Thrust, Secret Word, Ruby Ray, Warding Whip, etc. It is also faster than Remove Magic / Greater Malison. But it is slower than "instant spells" like Slow / Power Words.

    Example 2 : If you put Greater Malison + Slow in a Spell Sequencer, the Slow won't benefit from Greater Malison because it will act instantly while Greater Malison has to travel to its target.

    Example 3 : If you cast Time Stop, then Ruby Ray of Reversal then Power Word : Blind against a target with Spell Turning, you will get blinded because Ruby Ray creates a small sphere that need to hit the target while Power Words instantly hit their targets.

    So if you want to be sure that your spell A hit the target before your spell B, assuming both spells are casted under the effect of Time Stop and that both spells have the same travelling speed, you need to either :

    -Cast spell A, then move back a little and cast spell B.

    Or

    -Cast spell B, then move forward a bit and cast spell A.

    Livegood118lunarJuliusBorisovJustLeft
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,695
    @Demivrgvs: A good thing, too. I've had trouble with Secret Word and Spell Thrust in vanilla SCS, since they were level 4 and level 3 spell levels and could be blocked by (M)GOI. It made Pierce Magic an expensive necessity.

    Livegood118
  • Livegood118Livegood118 Member Posts: 48
    Very interesting. Thanks for the help guys. Sorry I am drunk posting now because I am out.

    So is there anywhere I can get a ranking of how "fast" the various spells are - other than to just test them myself. Which of the key ones are instantaneous (breach? True sight?) and which have a delay - are any super slow?

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,410
    edited December 2015

    Very interesting. Thanks for the help guys. Sorry I am drunk posting now because I am out.

    So is there anywhere I can get a ranking of how "fast" the various spells are - other than to just test them myself. Which of the key ones are instantaneous (breach? True sight?) and which have a delay - are any super slow?

    Spell removals are a tad slower than breach. The little magical bubble spell protection removals produce is a bit slower than the green, approaching glow of a breach spell. So you need to cast spell removals closer to the target, step back and then cast breach, in a time stop, for the spell removals to hit earlier. Or else your breach will get absorbed/turned by spell protections in a scs game. In vanilla, spell protections do not affect breach at all, so this order is not important, IIRC.

    Finger of death, flesh to stone and disintegrate all use projectiles and may take some time for them to reach the target. They are all roughly at the same speed. PW:Kill slays instaneously.

    Because power words are instaneous. Except pw:blind in the original game, I think, it has a radius so it might have a projectile. In SCS it is single target like all pws.

    Flame arrows are the fastest projectiles, but you can pause the game right when an enemy hurls three flame arrow sequencer to your face, and equip the Reflex shield (to send them back) or (if your aura is clear for the round) gulp a potion of fire resistance/equip fire res ring to nullify the deadly sequencer. That also works against finger of death, flesh to stone, disintegrate etc. when you see such a spell flying towards you, you pause the game, equip the best saving throw enhancer items, and gulp a potion that boosts saves like an invulnerability (if fighter) or stone form, magic shielding, etc.

    Chaos, malison and confusion have slow moving projectiles, when you see one casted at a member, make the targeted member run to the left, and all the party run to the right (or vice versa) if you time it right and other party members are far away, it might only hit the initial member. Horrid wilting is the same, and in vanilla you could totally evade a wilting if you were like, super fast moving, but that was a bit chancy. Not sure if it is doable in ee.

    JuliusBorisovLivegood118semiticgoddessGotural
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    @lunar is right, and you can still evade ADHW.

    You can also evade Dragon's Breath which is even more easy and more important too. A hasted character should never get hit by Dragon's Breath.

    semiticgoddesslunarJuliusBorisovGanda
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,695
    @Gotural: It's a little disappointing how easy it is to escape Dragon's Breath. I have more trouble with Comet in SCS, since it seems to be able to follow its target, and also hits much faster. I almost lost a no-reload run to a Comet recently.

    GoturallunarJuliusBorisovGanda
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,410

    @Gotural: It's a little disappointing how easy it is to escape Dragon's Breath. I have more trouble with Comet in SCS, since it seems to be able to follow its target, and also hits much faster. I almost lost a no-reload run to a Comet recently.

    That's true, also in my mod installation comet is blue and it does half crushing half cold damage and bypasses mr. It makes sense too, a comet is a heavy piece:chunks of ice and stone meld together. Only when it enters the atmosphere it starts to burn. The spell bypasses that and crashes it directly into surface: it is now a brutal, direct spell. Stoneskin is protection against the crushing damage, however cold resistance is hardly ever in my party so it can catch my party unaware. While fire protection is a lot more common to have.

    GoturalGanda[Deleted User]
  • FredSRichardsonFredSRichardson Member Posts: 442
    Wow, excellent all-around guide. The link to the word document doesn't seem to work. Is there a copy somewhere else?

    Thanks!

    -Fred

    lolien
  • FredSRichardsonFredSRichardson Member Posts: 442
    Woops, never mind, I think I got it all in a text document for easy reference:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9nH_zvtGGRiQUFjSGFxNEQ2dHc/view?usp=sharing

    lolien
  • FredSRichardsonFredSRichardson Member Posts: 442
    Very nice guide BTW! :)

    I realize this is an old post so some things have changed in BG2EE like enchant weapon.

    How does Carrion Summons earn a rank of 2? I don't think there's any condition under which it would be useful, but maybe I'm mistaken?

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,410
    edited July 2016

    Very nice guide BTW! :)

    I realize this is an old post so some things have changed in BG2EE like enchant weapon.

    How does Carrion Summons earn a rank of 2? I don't think there's any condition under which it would be useful, but maybe I'm mistaken?

    They really need only one good lucky hit to finish off a tough enemy, and they have good apr. Still I never use them, to be honest. Wyvern summon is still a tad more useful IMHO, because of its immunities and more bulk. I have used it once or twice out of desperation and it was...adequate. Not stellar, but it helped a bit. It is a shame that evocation and necromancy have the better summons than conjuration, pre-hla. (Mordenkainen sword&skeleton warrior) Wyvern and carrion summon spell scrolls are hard to find, btw. They are almost like an afterthought, even from developer's view. They sprinkled stoneskin/breach/spell removal scrolls everywhere, cos they knew they were the essentials. Wyvern&carrion, not so much, more like a niche thing for the dedicated conjurer.

    semiticgoddesslolien
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    Extremely useful guide, bookmarked. I'm thinking about adapting it to the kind of game I'm playing now: LoB, SCS, full party, reload as needed. Just in case, though, I want to ask if something similar already exists. Apparently there are many spell guides for Vanilla, but I'd say this one is much closer to the kind of game I play than those. So, is there anything that gets even closer or is this as good as it gets?

  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 598
    I'm not aware of a party spell guide for SCS. The principles that would change:

    - friendly area effect spells are more valuable (haste, mass invisibility, abi-dalzim's etc)
    - hostile area effect spells are somewhat less valuable unless the party is immunised (stinking cloud, fireball, sunfire etc)
    - Some utility spells are even better if you can cast them on multiple other party members (improved invisibility, improved haste etc)
    - for insane / LoB mode, damage spells are less important and crowd control spells (+ Greater Malison) are more important

    AlonsololienAndreaColombo
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    Yes, that's the general impression I got. There are a couple of things I don't get, though:

    What you call "utility spells" seem to be more valuable for solo than for parties. If you are soloing, you just need one Improved Invisibility spell to cover your whole "party". In order to achieve the same effect with a party, you need six spells. Therefore, the value seems to decrease.

    Regarding the damage spells, they certainly seem less important in LoB because enemies have so many hit points. But why also in Insane? AFAIK, enemies don't get extra hit points in Insane.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    edited July 2016
    Anyway, based on what you said and my own perception, I have created a set of rules to adapt the ratings to games with difficulty Legacy of Bhaal and a party (i. e., several characters):

    Rating adaptation for LoB:
    • -1 to offensive spells which allow a saving throw (unless the saving throw incurs a penalty). Enemies in LoB have improved saving throws, so these are close to useless unless you combine them with Greater Malison or Doom.
    • +1 to offensive spells which DON’T allow a saving throw, for the same reason.
    • -1 to damage spells. Enemies have so many hit points that the damage caused by spells is far less relevant. Combining this rule with the previous one, damage spells which don’t allow a saving throw keep their original rating.

    Rating adaptation for parties (as opposed to solo):
    • +1 when the reason for a low rating is that there is an item which replaces the spell effect.
    • Buffs: +1 if they have an area of effect. -1 if they don’t, unless it's enough to buff only one party member (Friends, Invisibility for scouting, etc.)
    • +1/-1 for any other features that makes the spells better/worse when used in a party.

    I have tried these rules with levels 1 and 2 and these are the results:

    Level 1
    Rating 3: Shield, Magic Missile, Spook.
    Rating 2: Protection From Evil, Blindness, Friends, Identify.
    Rating 1: Chromatic Orb, Burning Hands, Charm Person, Chill Touch, Colour Spray, Find Familiar, Armour, Grease, Infravision, Larloch's Minor Drain, Protection From Petrification, Reflected Image, Shocking Grasp, Sleep.

    Level 2
    Rating 3: Mirror Image, Melf's Acid Arrow, Web, Resist Fear.
    Rating 2: Stinking Cloud, Glitterdust, Blur, Invisibility, Detect Invisibility, Vocalize.
    Rating 1: Knock, Strength, Horror, Ghoul Touch, Agannazar's Scorcher, Ray Of Enfeeblement, Deafness, Detect Evil, Know Alignment, Luck, Power Word Sleep.

    Some of these look a bit funny. Do you think I'm missing something?

  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 598
    I don't think a generic +/-1 works, the scale is too narrow and the spells too nuanced.

    The reason why some utility spells are more valuable: you have to remember that you may have more characters to cover but you also have more casting power than solo (i.e. you likely have multiple mages in your party). And it's rare that you have to cover all characters anyway, some may not require the buff, some may have other ways of achieving it.

    Take Improved Haste for example, immensely powerful spell. Rated a 5 and is single target. But in a party the value of Improved Haste goes up, not down - because you know what's better than a warrior with 8 APR? Two warriors with 8 APR. Or 3 warriors with 8 APR. At the same time your casters don't need this spell, so you don't need to cast it 6 times.

    lolienmetaentity
  • BrightL1ghtsBrightL1ghts Member Posts: 52
    edited September 2018
    Bercon said:
    This table is not correct.
    Spell Turning/Spell Deflection/Spell Trap doesn't protect against Spell Thrust. Spell Thrust will effectively bypass them and dispell all lvl 1 - 5 spell protections. Globe of Invulnerability will protect against it, and will even protect your Spell Shield if something will try to use Spell Thrust to dispell it.

    Spell Trap does not protect against Secret Word. Same as above, it simply ignores it. Nothing except Spell Shield and Prot. from Magic scroll can protect against Secret Word.

    Spell Trap does not protect against Pierce Magic/Khelben's Warding Whip. Same as above, it will ignore them and allow them to work. Nothing except Spell Shield and Prot. from Magic scroll will protect against Pierce Magic and Khelben's Whip. Spell Shield will get consumed though.

    lolienBlackraven
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,707
    Is it just me, or would the Gate spell be super-powerful if you have the Improved Fiends component installed (with the +50% HP for good measure)? After all, it buffs your own fiends too. It sounds nice to be able to summon a creature that can cast 20d6 damage fireballs, Symbols of Fear, and Remove Magic at will, especially since we could summon more than one of them (and cast Protection from Evil 10' Radius on all of them to prevent them from attacking each other, at the cost of not allowing them to cast spells on themselves). In fact, summoned fiends actually ignore the summoning limit. Furthermore, Gate doesn't need to be cast with 9th level spell slots. A Cleric could also cast it. In fact, a high-level Cleric/Mage could even put three Gate spells in a Chain Contingency. Yikes.

    StummvonBordwehrBlackravenlolien
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited February 2019
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Grond0
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 598
    And you or anybody else are welcome to update it :)

    I haven’t played any BG2 in a while and don’t anticipate starting again soon even with new version of SCS. Just too busy on PoE and then PoE2 ;).

    Grond0
  • AmmarAmmar Member Posts: 1,155
    I am just starting a BG 1 run with SCS 32 RC9. Will definitely share my impression of how the new spells help me if and when I acquire them.

    ShortOfBreath
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 598
    I'm glad it's been of help to you. I think the guide will need updating at some point because latest versions of SCS really shake things up, especially with IWD spells on the table, so I have to get back into it at some point.

    StummvonBordwehrJuliusBorisovlolien
  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    This is such a great guide, but it's starting to become outdated. In the current version of SCS (v33), for instance, it looks like there is no longer a problem with how the summoned elementals work, actually you don't even have to do the mental fight with them, so I'd say this change makes those spells go all the way up from rating 1 to rating 4 or maybe even 5. Do you have plans to update the guide? I can help if you need a hand.

    StummvonBordwehrJaheiras_Witness
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 598
    Realistically I don't see myself playing BG2 again, it's been several years now. The guide belongs to the community; 95% of what I learned is from other people's experiences, so it's time for someone else to take the baton and update the guide.

  • AlonsoAlonso Member Posts: 806
    Fair enough. My first suggestion would be to use some simple formatting to make the guide easier to navigate. For instance, you could use capitals, bold and colour for each spell level, like this:

    ===================
    LEVEL 1
    ===================


    And maybe bold and colour for the spell names and ratings, like this:

    Armour: 1
    ======


    And a couple of corrections:
    1. The guide says that Ghost armour sets base AC to 3, but I believe it actually sets base AC to 2.
    2. The guide says that the saving throw of Hold Undead is at -2, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The description says nothing about a penalty and NearInfinity doesn't seem to indicate anything about a penalty either (although I'm not very good at using NI).

    If you like any of my corrections or suggestions but don't have the time to go through the text I can give you the text edited so you just have to copy and paste.

    Grond0Jaheiras_Witness
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 598
    It's all yours sir ;). The guide was originally written in Word and split into multiple posts because it was too long to post. That Word file is long since lost.

    I would suggest:

    1) Copy the text from the posts (should be easy c+p)
    2) Format as desired - what you show above is great
    3) Update for technical corrections - there's been a few mentioned in various posts in this thread
    4) Then the ambitious stuff: how about adding in all the new spells in latest versions of SCS and grading those?
    5) Then update existing spells and grading based on how they play in current versions of SCS (such as the elemental examples)
    6) If you really want a big project, all divine spells are waiting...
    7) You can also invent a new grading mechanism if you have something in mind
    8) Congratulations, you now have a new guide ready to publish which many people would appreciate :)

    Grond0
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