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Are druids in HoF viable (compared to clerics and other classes)?

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  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,970
    sorcerin said:

    elminster said:

    Level 10 versions of their totemic summons will be (among other things) immune to normal weapons. A lot of enemies earlier on in Icewind Dale use normal weapons.

    So the summons are immune to normal weapons but the druids are not?

    Yes

    JuliusBorisovjackjack
  • sorcerinsorcerin Member Posts: 58
    elminster said:


    Yes

    Thanks for clarifying!

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,029
    Oh, yeah, sorry. I only just now realized my statement could be parsed as two distinct clauses. The druids themselves are not immune to non-magical weapons. Their summons are, after level 10. Sorry for the lack of clarity.

    Shikao
  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited November 2014
    @Lord_Tansheron
    Serves you right for not downloading that 0-APR-damage-boosting spellcaster ring I made! :P

    Now suffer the endless misery of having your spellcasters turn into walking (de)buff dispensers!

    Suffer, I say! SUFFER! And while you're suffering, remember that you had a choice not to! :P

    {no, but seriously, seeing 10d20 fireballs in HoF rekindled my love affair with sorcerers}


    OT:

    Druids are uber fun in normal mode, but they, like all other casters, fall by the wayside during HoF.

    The only uses for any spell-oriented character in HoF are (de)buffing/summoning, and druids are no exception.

    Damage-dealers using physical output (fighter, archer, etc.) will eclipse them fully.

    APR is king in HoF, and there's, sadly, little to be done about that.

    Pibaroelminster
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,154
    @TvrtkoSvrdlar‌ Hah you and your puny spells and spell casters! FACE THE MIGHT OF THE HAMMER, ROBE-WEARING WORMS!

    But yeah, that is pretty much my impression of the situation, and it's no surprise that druids fall behind then given that their focus is damage and not buffing.

    elminster
  • Wonderboy2402Wonderboy2402 Member Posts: 121
    I actually played my recent game on a harder difficulty with the werewolf druid. I loved being able to tank and do DPS while shifting back to human form for the spell cast. Great addition to the party!

    JuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @TvrtkoSvrdlar actually if you followed the conversation you would read that Druids are in fact capable of meaningful damage with their spells via stacking AOE DOT spells.

    Whether it's a worthwhile option compared to more pure DPS options is the debate at hand but the fact that there is a debate at all kind of completely diminishes your argument regarding the lack of spell DPS in HoF mode.

    Maybe the answer is simply that you've been looking for spell DPS in the wrong place - Druids are where it's at - and the added challenge of positioning to maximise the available damage from the spells is just the cost of being a DPS caster in HoF.

    I notice too that Incediary Cloud would do an average of 245 damage per enemy - and close to 300 with the +20% fire spell damage item I've heard mentioned - which would be an effective strategy when combined with the Druid spells and disables.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,154
    Wowo said:

    the added challenge of positioning to maximise the available damage from the spells is just the cost of being a DPS caster in HoF.

    But is that cost worth it? All I've seen so far are arguments that in SOME situations spellcasters MAY deal more damage than a melee - but why bother with all that, when you can just have a reliable, consistent source of damage by clobbering things to death.

    Not to mention that people constantly ignore the fact that things like Spike Growth or Incendiary Cloud or Skull Trap or Fireball or whatnot actually damage YOUR OWN TEAM.

  • ZyzzogetonZyzzogeton Member Posts: 526
    edited November 2014
    You seem to constantly ignore the fact that these spells have a radius and all you need to do is have your party members camp outside the radius and wait for enemies to come to them.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,662
    I can add that AI in IWDEE, HoF included, is very far from the one we can see in the SCS mod for BG which leads to situations when enemies who are under the effects of your AoE spells don't go out of them, just stay and die. The main thing the enemies don't see you - if they don't see you can spam Spike Growths and Spike Stones without any limit on them.

    Of course, there're some exceptions when certain enemies become wandering around the location but it happens not because of them falling under your AoE spell, and you can still cast Invisibility on your party members so that this wandering enemy doesn't see you while his 10+ comrades suffer from 5 simultaneous Spike Growths.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,154
    edited November 2014

    You seem to constantly ignore the fact that these spells have a radius and all you need to do is have your party members camp outside the radius and wait for enemies to come to them.

    And sitting there doing nothing while enemies move is making good use of time? Instead of waiting I could be running there and start clubbing things. And what about when the mobs get there? The casters just stop doing everything and sit back? What about the stationary spells like Cloud or Spikes?

    I'm not saying it's impossible to place those spells, I'm just saying that needing to do extra work to MAYBE deal more damage is not something I think is efficient.
    bengoshi said:

    I can add that AI in IWDEE, HoF included, is very far from the one we can see in the SCS mod for BG which leads to situations when enemies who are under the effects of your AoE spells don't go out of them, just stay and die. The main thing the enemies don't see you - if they don't see you can spam Spike Growths and Spike Stones without any limit on them.

    Definitely true, but sitting there waiting for Spikes or a Cloud to kill enemies in HoF is just a recipe for inefficiency, isn't it? Having a proper tank and being aggressive with your damage dealers seems to me to (usually) be the way to deal the most damage in the shortest amount of time.

  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited November 2014
    @Wowo
    You can finish the game with the gimpiest parties out there.

    HoF mode itself isn't the issue - speed and efficiency are.

    Can I roll with a druid and stack AoE damage spells that tick over time?

    Yes.

    Can the druid's spells kill HoF mobs if I position everyone/everything correctly?

    Also yes.

    Then again, I can give that party slot to a kitted-out frontline melee powerhouse that does ~50 damage per hit, has 10 APR with Imp. Haste (which, mind you, lasts a fair amount of time in HoF), has an AC in the high negatives, has no DPS restrictions (Vancian spell slots, 6-second pauses in-between spells, positioning, etc.), can keep fighting all day long, never runs out of steam, isn't constantly in need of babysitting, can go toe-to-toe with multiple enemies, doesn't give a rat's ass about terrain layout, has access to a slew of potions that FURTHER buff his damage output by copious amounts (oils of speed last a hilariously long time in IWDEE), and will mow through mobs faster than you can say "Druid who?".

    So next time you want to get snarky, at least get your facts straight.


    @Lord_Tansheron
    IWDEE's HoF is warrior-friendly.

    IWD2's HoF is caster-friendly.

    But some people obviously can't grasp these simple facts.

    Or the fact that 'physical' characters kill mobs at a much quicker, more efficient pace.

    As I already wrote in response to @Wowo‌, you can beat HoF with a single, blind, one-legged gnome.

    But mowing through content with little downtime and a lot of efficiency can't be done with damage spells.


    @Zyzzogeton‌
    You can also spawn a bunch of summons and watch the AI play the game for you; what's your point?

    Cleave trains are orders of magnitude more efficient than summons coupled with the odd DoT spell.





    And to all of you expounding on the virtues of spell damage in HoF:

    The issue here isn't if damage-oriented Druids are viable or not - it's whether or not they're E F F I C I E N T.

    Anyone can play the game in any way they like, but facts are facts, and mob-clearing speed is quantifiable.

    So are variables like downtime, combat difficulty due to party makeup, DPS output, consumables burn rate, etc.

    HoF is beatable by any combination of characters, but whereas one group will need to sleep 2-5x per map, play carefully to position mobs for maximum AoE uptime, pull and kite and dance and (re)position constantly, and, finally, burn through a small mountain of potions just to clear out that level's mobs in any reasonable amount of time, the other, physical-damage-oriented group will buff once at the entrance and then proceed to cleave through anything dumb enough to get in their way (and do so with little or no downtime whatsoever, relying only on the odd potion here and there in clutch situations). Neither approach is 'wrong' or 'bad', but one is clearly more efficient and less taxing than the other, despite what spell-damage afficionados claim (of which I am one, which is why I made that damage-buffing ring for my sorceress in the first place).

    In a nutshell, Druids and other damage-oriented casters are neither efficient nor quick - quite the opposite.

    And anyone claiming otherwise is patently wrong, not because I say so, but because the games does.

    Why? Because of the ratio between caster damage, and the Vancian restrictions imposed upon them.

    Whereas the scaling of APR-related physical damage has no hard cap to blunt its effectiveness.

    And yes, single-targed APR with weapons *still* eclipses multi-target AoE spell damage!

    Especially in the long run, when rest times and spell slots are factored in.

    Post edited by TvrtkoSvrdlar on
    Abel
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,662


    So next time you want to get snarky, at least get your facts straight.

    And anyone claiming otherwise is patently wrong, not because I say so, but because the games does.

    I would suggest tone down a bit. We don't want any problems with the site rules, do we?

    jackjackGotural
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,154

    Neither approach is 'wrong' or 'bad', but one is clearly more efficient and less taxing than the other

    *cry*

    Finally someone who gets me....

    Will... will you marry... me?

    PibaroAbelFinneousPJ
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,662


    bengoshi said:

    I can add that AI in IWDEE, HoF included, is very far from the one we can see in the SCS mod for BG which leads to situations when enemies who are under the effects of your AoE spells don't go out of them, just stay and die. The main thing the enemies don't see you - if they don't see you can spam Spike Growths and Spike Stones without any limit on them.

    Definitely true, but sitting there waiting for Spikes or a Cloud to kill enemies in HoF is just a recipe for inefficiency, isn't it? Having a proper tank and being aggressive with your damage dealers seems to me to (usually) be the way to deal the most damage in the shortest amount of time.
    The question has never been about dealing the most damage in the shortest amount of time. Because otherwise it would be a completely different discussion and probably the Blackguard would win it taking into account he can use DUHM and poison stacks with each hit while his APR can be high.

    The question is about a different thing (viability of druids in HoF) and as the discussion shows, there can be a strategy of using druids successfully in HoF. What style to prefer in order to go through the game each player decides him(her)self.

  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited November 2014
    @bengoshi
    I don't see how I insulted him in any way. He *was* being snarky, and I just told him to get his facts straight. Is one liable for harassment now when he mentions someone else is wrong?

    And as far as the second sentence is concerned, there's nothing objectively wrong or insulting about it. Everything I pointed out is true, and readily observable by anyone with a functioning pair of eyes.

    Honestly, that big stick of yours ought to be carried with a bit more finesse.


    Oh, and you're wrong about the blackguard. Just sayin'.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,154
    edited November 2014
    bengoshi said:

    The question is about a different thing (viability of druids in HoF) and as the discussion shows, there can be a strategy of using druids successfully in HoF. What style to prefer in order to go through the game each player decides him(her)self.

    But if efficiency isn't the metric, what does "viable" mean? You can beat HoF with pretty much anything. There is no need for a discussion when 3 Barbarians 3 Jesters parties can finish the game just like a perfectly optimized party. Why even talk about things if not to find out what's BETTER than something else?

  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    @Lord_Tansheron
    People conflate 'viable' for 'efficient'.

    Try to correct them, and a flame war breaks out.

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @TvrtkoSvrdlar you've claimed that DPS spell casters aren't viable in HoF so much so that you've gone and made a mod to let you play the way that you want (cool!).

    However, the simple fact that there is a discussion about the uses of Druids in this thread and that their spell DPS in HoF is a worthwhile reason to have them suggests that other people who play this game don't experience the same lack of viability as you.

    I was actually happy to learn from both sides of the argument to not expect any useful spell damage but on the other hand when I had some 30ish mobs want to aggro my party on Burial Isle at level 10ish I could utilise that spell damage to destroy them all without getting overwhelmed (or even touched - dimension door to the shamans island is a neat trick).

    I'm happy to concede points like "most efficient party setup" and yes I'm sure any party can finish HoF but there is a middle ground there of efficient party setups that can have some versatility to cater to individual player style, taste and desire that can have varying strengths and weaknesses that result in slightly different outcomes.

    My party of 4 fighter duals, swashbuckler dual and 1 skald should certainly have high points for efficiency in a straight beat down but I appreciate the spell damage that my Druid dual brings to the table when I need/want it. Later I will certainly try a strategy of incendiary clouds on top of summoned fire elementals, I think that could be sweet. Maybe add in some PCs with 100+ fire resistance, maybe buff the fire resistance of the fire elementals and they can tank for ever?

  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited November 2014
    @Wowo
    I guess it all depends on how you frame the term 'viable'.

    For me, viable means 0 downtime between mob packs, a maximum of 1 rest per map, and little to no additional micromanagement save for pointing the party in the right direction. Which isn't to say I don't enjoy tactical gameplay or spells - I do, but if I'm running HoF, I want to be as efficient as possible, to the point of barebones ruthlessness. Which is why I dedicate a lot of time to theorycrafting and party/item setups. The majority of my time in the game (in HoF mode, anyway) is spent messing around with spell combinations, and shuffling items between the various characters, all with the explicit purpose of shaving off another 10-ish seconds from a standard trash pack engagement.

    Someone else might find the aforementioned process tedious and pedantic to the point of pointlessness. Said person would probably derive enjoyment from carefully luring enemies into predetermined choke points, where they'd set up perimeters and unleash hell in a tightly focused killzone. Layers and layers of damage-over-time spells would be cast, and allied summons would box in the mobs while the spell damage slowly whittled the enemies down, and the party itself mopped up any stragglers.

    Both options are *viable*, and neither is any better or worse than the other.

    Just different strokes for different folks, I guess.

  • ZyzzogetonZyzzogeton Member Posts: 526
    Enemies in this game aren't snails. They will cover the gap. And like I said, if that's not enough then adding in more Fighter/Druids so they can all keep casting Spike Growth. And since Incendiery Cloud also does the trick, Sorcerers too.

    Just have a few summons in the middle and on occassion replenish them when they're about to die. Plus Entangle and maybe Web and Grease.

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @TvrtkoSvrdlar you seem to be confusing yourself a bit. First you state that the term viable needs to be defined. You then define 'viable' in terms of absolute efficiency. You then state that both options are viable.

    For me, both approaches have merits. It's preferable to just steam through each map without worrying too much but it's nice to have the option of using spell DPS to destroy groups of mobs that you might otherwise struggle with. Today I found spell DPS to be effective against the huge swarms of beetles, spiders and trolls that come and try to swarm you in Chapter 2. Bottling them up with summons and dropping the AoE spells on them was an effective strategy to reduce my need to rest and speed up the level.

    The question is whether a Druid is worth a slot in a HoF run. So let's look at the whole package?
    - equal to cleric in HD, THAC0 etc
    - interesting weapon selection (easy +5 club in HoW ...)
    - strong defense with ironskins, armour of faith, barkskin and (though I haven't tried it) shape changes
    - access to GM through a dual
    - excellent XP curve
    - almost the only source of effective spell DPS in HoF mode

    My kensei 9/Druid 13 is a valued member of the party with access to barkskin for the kensei duals, healing, offensive spells, grandmastery with daggers (though I'm wondering if I'll regret the weapon choice) and my strongest available summon (fire elemental). My only alternatives for this slot were an archer or a sorcerer but I wasn't keen on either. Another cleric wasn't an option as there is only 2 fast flails available.

    Overall, he certainly holds his own, no worries about that.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511


    And sitting there doing nothing while enemies move is making good use of time?

    Definitely. You need to brush up on your Sun Tzu.

    ShikaojackjackNimranKoyote
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,154
    Wowo said:

    - interesting weapon selection (easy +5 club in HoW ...)

    Could you explain what is interesting about a weapon with no special abilities whatsoever? It's not like the enchantment level matters beyond the extra damage, and there is just falls behind pretty much any high-end cleric weapon available.
    Jarrakul said:

    - excellent XP curve

    Keep in mind that druids only have that from lvl 5-13. They need more XP than clerics to reach lvl 5/14, and after lvl 15 they need the same amount per level as clerics do, except they start out behind by 225k XP - i.e. they will always be exactly 1 level behind clerics.
    Jarrakul said:

    Overall, he certainly holds his own, no worries about that.

    This has never been my worry :P My worry is simply that a druid adds less damage to the party overall than another fighter/cleric dual would, and that it doesn't bring anything uniquely useful either.

  • kensaikensai Member Posts: 228
    Well, I have a berserker - druid dual, and he is pretty good. Hard to image tanking in hof without his iron skins, and cc without his entangles. His summons are good too and i want to test his 9lvl spell that blinds enemies around him and deals fire damage to undead, that helped me in bg2 a lot.

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,911
    Can i ask what your party is if you need two f/c's? I am running with this and I don't understand why it would be better to go for the f/c rather than a f/d or a druid. All the cleric party buffs are accounted for with 1 cleric and the druid can provide versatility and melee just as well. More often with summons available it is easy enough and spatially challenged for another buffed cleric. Besides the selfbuff spells on the f/c run out just as fast as for the druid.

    My generic hof party
    1 warrior tank (any f/ra/pa) --> melee
    1 fighter/thief --> traps locks melee/ranged
    1 cleric or fighter->cleric --> party buffs, selfbuff melee
    1 mage or sorc -> aoe, disable, direct damage, imp haste
    1 bard -> emotions, debuff, songs
    1 druid or fighter->druid -> summons, static, aoe, selfbuff melee if needed

    elminsterjackjackJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058

    Wowo said:

    - interesting weapon selection (easy +5 club in HoW ...)

    Could you explain what is interesting about a weapon with no special abilities whatsoever? It's not like the enchantment level matters beyond the extra damage, and there is just falls behind pretty much any high-end cleric weapon available.
    Jarrakul said:

    - excellent XP curve

    Keep in mind that druids only have that from lvl 5-13. They need more XP than clerics to reach lvl 5/14, and after lvl 15 they need the same amount per level as clerics do, except they start out behind by 225k XP - i.e. they will always be exactly 1 level behind clerics.
    Jarrakul said:

    Overall, he certainly holds his own, no worries about that.

    This has never been my worry :P My worry is simply that a druid adds less damage to the party overall than another fighter/cleric dual would, and that it doesn't bring anything uniquely useful either.

    Wowo said:

    - interesting weapon selection (easy +5 club in HoW ...)

    Could you explain what is interesting about a weapon with no special abilities whatsoever? It's not like the enchantment level matters beyond the extra damage, and there is just falls behind pretty much any high-end cleric weapon available.
    Jarrakul said:

    - excellent XP curve

    Keep in mind that druids only have that from lvl 5-13. They need more XP than clerics to reach lvl 5/14, and after lvl 15 they need the same amount per level as clerics do, except they start out behind by 225k XP - i.e. they will always be exactly 1 level behind clerics.
    Jarrakul said:

    Overall, he certainly holds his own, no worries about that.

    This has never been my worry :P My worry is simply that a druid adds less damage to the party overall than another fighter/cleric dual would, and that it doesn't bring anything uniquely useful either.
    The point is that a druid does bring something uniquely useful - spell DPS. I was considering the question of main campaign, HoW and ToL. Surely the most efficient thing is to complete HoW and ToL as soon as possible due to the proportionately large rewards to increase the ease and efficiency with which you can do the main campaign?

    Certainly I'd be interested to hear your strategies for doing HoW on HoF difficulty at level 9. I found those wailing virgins to be a royal pain and those drowned dead hit pretty hard. Eventually I procured the holy symbol in burial Isle but found that I had two separate groups of enemies who would go to each other's aid if I engaged the other one no matter what I did. I tried various strategies but apart from ignoring them nothing seemed to work until I figured out that I could aggro them and then hide on the shamans island and burn them down with the Druids spells from safety. Certainly the druid was the most efficient at that task given their large number! (The entire spirit animal spawn and a large group of trash from underground).

    Don't get me wrong, the preference is for time efficient steam rolling of maps with buffs up and little damage taken but there are plenty of tricky places where it's good to have a few options in how you handle the challenge and the druid gives another, unique option.

    Using the offensive damage from the Druid you can manage many areas that would otherwise be beyond the group either due to lack of level, equipment or preparation (I might have had an easier time with the beetles if I knew to have acid protection for instance).

    Even if you only rarely utilise that spell damage the Druid is still good in the party for his competent DPS, unique buffs, varied summons and tanking ability.

    A +5 club that's available shortly after arriving in Kuldahar is pretty decent, it's the first +5 weapon that I've seen. Damage is good. I'm not sure about the THAC0 progression but I'd imagine that characters wouldn't be hitting everything on 2's already?

    As far as if a cleric multi is better ... What if you have 2 cleric multis already? A third won't have access to a fast weapon and isn't providing anything unique at all.

  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited November 2014
    @Wowo said:

    It's preferable to just steam through each map without worrying too much but it's nice to have the option of using spell DPS to destroy groups of mobs that you might otherwise struggle with.

    But that's just the thing; a well-built physical cleave train never struggles.

    Against anything.

    Ever.

  • wubblewubble Member Posts: 3,156
    just going to mention that using spells from a distance allows you to trap enemies in a web/entangle (or two) and then throw a few aoe spells at them while your party sits at a good viewing distance. you have then killed/severely weakened the enemy without the hassle of getting injured.

    that being said melee people get to chunk people which is AWESOME and appeals to the 8 year old us all. :)

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,154
    edited November 2014
    lroumen said:

    Can i ask what your party is if you need two f/c's? I am running with this and I don't understand why it would be better to go for the f/c rather than a f/d or a druid.

    It's not about NEEDING two F/Cs, but about finding the highest damage dealer to add into my party. My argument is that a F/C (specifically a Kensai 9->Cleric, in my case anyway) adds the most overall damage - through self-buffs and melee attacks (easy 25 STR a lot of the time) as well as through party buffs (higher uptime/lower downtime under Prayer/Recitation etc.).
    lroumen said:

    Besides the selfbuff spells on the f/c run out just as fast as for the druid.

    Yes, but they don't have the same ones. Druids don't get DuHM/RM, and can't get to 25 STR easily. They have mainly defensive buffs, which are not overly relevant on a damage dealer given that you can tank very nicely in IWD and there is very little incidental damage on non-tanks (hence also why I go Kensai and not Berserker). What offensive druid self-buffs are there?

    To be sure, the tanking discussion is a bit of a different one, though you're almost at a wash with Entropy Shield vs. Iron Skins, and clerics still have the better self + group buffs even while tanking (not to mention that they deal more damage also).
    Jarrakul said:

    The point is that a druid does bring something uniquely useful - spell DPS.

    I'd assert that spell DPS is neither useful nor unique - Sorcerer is already a shoo-in for the buffs so if you really wanted to you could get spell DPS there (I still don't). And as we've discussed at length, to match physical output with damage you'd need very specific scenarios and extra work - for minute gains, if any.
    Jarrakul said:

    Certainly I'd be interested to hear your strategies for doing HoW on HoF difficulty at level 9.

    As you said earlier, it's about efficiency - and that doesn't necessarily mean that you rush to HoW immediately. If you take more time getting those good items than you end up saving by having them, it's still an efficiency loss. I don't find the gear difference too dramatic, so I usually end up doing HoW after Dragon's Eye, which is enough XP on everyone to have no trouble getting through the more annoying mobs in HoW like Burial Isle etc. (also there are some very good weapons in DEye, like the +APR bow/flail).

    But again, efficiency is not about doing everything as quickly as you can, it's about doing everything in the least OVERALL amount of time required. Saving 1 hour at the end at the cost of 2 hours early on is not efficient. Where the exact optimal point is to go for HoW, well, that is probably still a matter of testing. But either way I do not believe that to have any significant impact on the choice of druid vs. alternatives.
    Jarrakul said:

    Even if you only rarely utilise that spell damage the Druid is still good in the party for his competent DPS, unique buffs, varied summons and tanking ability.

    "Good" - sure. Better than something else though? That's the real question. I found the druid's buffs lackluster compared to cleric ones, summons largely superfluous with a Sorcerer already there (and rarely using summons anyway with a proper tank), and of course the DPS being just straight-up worse and/or harder to apply.
    Jarrakul said:

    A +5 club that's available shortly after arriving in Kuldahar is pretty decent, it's the first +5 weapon that I've seen. Damage is good. I'm not sure about the THAC0 progression but I'd imagine that characters wouldn't be hitting everything on 2's already?

    Keep in mind that a Club+5 is only 1.5 average damage better than a Morning Star+2 (one available in DEye iirc, that also stuns). And as soon as you get into actual magical weapons with special abilities etc, it falls behind. And it's pretty much the best main hand weapon you can get as a druid, isn't it?
    Jarrakul said:

    As far as if a cleric multi is better ... What if you have 2 cleric multis already? A third won't have access to a fast weapon and isn't providing anything unique at all.

    That would expand the question further, into overall party composition. An interesting part of the argument to be sure - you are very right that there are diminishing returns with too many clerics. The question is, why are you already at 2 clerics? And then, what would the OTHER alternatives be? I've focused on the F/C vs. F/D debate because most of the other slots are pretty much fixed - you can't compete with a Sorcerer, for example, simply because Improved Haste alone adds more party damage than a druid ever will. What else are you going to replace? Archer, who locks down enemy casters making them completely trivial, and can cast druid spells also?

    This may be worth exploring further, I surely haven't tested all the possibilities. But I think that it'd be difficult to find a spot for a druid, simply because there is, as I said, nothing uniquely interesting about then. They bring some okay buffs but not particularly good ones (certainly not for the party), and spell damage in general is only meh in HoF. They are alright tanks, but again worse than F/C because they can tank about equally well, and the F/C also brings the whole party/self buff array. What do you think druids can do, then, that makes them so good in a party, and that no other combination can do better?

    Abel
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