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

124

Comments

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    lroumen said:

    Have you considered removing the bard in favour of the sorceress? You get all the important spells sooner (emotions, improved haste, projected image, summons etc) and with projected image you don't run out of spells fast while also having access to higher level spells than the bard.
    Granted once buff/debuff is done you don't really need to cast that much during fights, but there is less time delay to obtaining the spells you want compared to bringing a bard and dualing a warrior to a mage.

    Yes but Skald song is one of the best buffs in the game and even if skipping the sorcerer slows things down you can still get everything important in a timely fashion.

  • jimmysdabestcopjimmysdabestcop Member Posts: 74
    True but Skald buff eliminates 1 person from the fight. Clerics/Druids/Sorcerer can buff and still fight. But I guess it personal preference.

    I dislike the Bard song implementation. It should have lasted for X rounds.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,110
    "I understood you the first 20 times you selected me".

    Dear discussion participants, could you please stay on topic? The thread is about druids, not the most OP party combinations, bards instead of sorcerers and so on.

    "What, do you think I'm lying?* Move on, nothing to hear here!"

    kensaiShikaojackjack
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,870
    Sorry :). I guess the whole discussion shifted to what party a druid would be suitable in.

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    bengoshi said:

    "I understood you the first 20 times you selected me".

    Dear discussion participants, could you please stay on topic? The thread is about druids, not the most OP party combinations, bards instead of sorcerers and so on.

    "What, do you think I'm lying?* Move on, nothing to hear here!"

    Inevitably a discussion about the inclusion of a Druid will include the exclusion of another class.

    Really though, what character is better in the role of a tank?
    - massive, easy AC
    - 100% damage resistance
    - iron skins
    - good DPS
    - easy XP curve

    jackjack
  • jimmysdabestcopjimmysdabestcop Member Posts: 74
    I guess a good comparison is Fighter-->Druid vs Fighter -->Cleric vs Fighter -->Mage

    You will probably have at least 2 of them type of characters in a HOF party. I am partial to the Divine casters. I just hate Mages have to buy/find scrolls and can only memorize them. Much to lazy for that and prefer the Sorcerer Arcane style a lot better.

    So I could have two Fighters dual to Cleric but I like the Druid for flavor. Can tank slightly earlier and has access to way more powerful summons plus entangle which is as useful as Web. Summons plus entangle and just block everyone from moving method.

    Its pretty easy to at least get a +4 and a +3 dagger if not two +4 daggers pretty early. Dual scimitars higher than +3 I think takes a little longer. There are 2 +4 slings in beginning of HOW.

    I did HOW right after the Vale. I was extremely to low of a level for Burial Island. Was able to take on a couple of mobs then had to cheese my way out of there. Grab amulet go invisible and just escape the Tomb and get transported back to IWD then you can go back forth and at will.

    Clerics are better buffers than Druids. But Druids better summons and Iron Skins. Both have access to entropy.

    Enough room for both in a party. Most likely every normal party in HOF will have some kind of cleric. It just depends if you want F/D or F/M. As the mage can get summons, armor spells, stone skin, blur, mirror, emotions etc.



    ShikaoJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058

    I guess a good comparison is Fighter-->Druid vs Fighter -->Cleric vs Fighter -->Mage

    You will probably have at least 2 of them type of characters in a HOF party. I am partial to the Divine casters. I just hate Mages have to buy/find scrolls and can only memorize them. Much to lazy for that and prefer the Sorcerer Arcane style a lot better.

    So I could have two Fighters dual to Cleric but I like the Druid for flavor. Can tank slightly earlier and has access to way more powerful summons plus entangle which is as useful as Web. Summons plus entangle and just block everyone from moving method.

    Its pretty easy to at least get a +4 and a +3 dagger if not two +4 daggers pretty early. Dual scimitars higher than +3 I think takes a little longer. There are 2 +4 slings in beginning of HOW.

    I did HOW right after the Vale. I was extremely to low of a level for Burial Island. Was able to take on a couple of mobs then had to cheese my way out of there. Grab amulet go invisible and just escape the Tomb and get transported back to IWD then you can go back forth and at will.

    Clerics are better buffers than Druids. But Druids better summons and Iron Skins. Both have access to entropy.

    Enough room for both in a party. Most likely every normal party in HOF will have some kind of cleric. It just depends if you want F/D or F/M. As the mage can get summons, armor spells, stone skin, blur, mirror, emotions etc.



    Druid is excellent at cheesing Burial Isle. Just sit on the shamans island and get a wizard with DDoor to pull all trash to the edge and DDoor back and then drop spike growth etc on them until they die. There's a decent choke point near the Necromancer Tower too.

    After Burial Isle you can pretty much rock the rest of HoW and ToL and get some excellent xp and gear. Now my level 1 HoF party is level 25ish and will rofflestomp the main campaign - I'm looking forward to exploding some undead with turn undead especially.

  • schreierschreier Member Posts: 79
    What do people think between the Cleric/Ranger (Dual or Multi) vs Berserker/Druid (Dual)? I know Cleric/Ranger doesn't get the complete list of Druid spells like in BG ... so misses out on Iron Skin and some summons .... but the Scimitars seem weaker than Morning Stars and Three Doves

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,956
    edited November 2014
    schreier said:

    I know Cleric/Ranger doesn't get the complete list of Druid spells like in BG ... so misses out on Iron Skin and some summons

    http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/36188/neat-little-option-that-cleric-rangers-players-might-be-interested-in-knowing

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    I'd suggest kensei 9/Druid.

  • schreierschreier Member Posts: 79
    Elimnster - Thanks, but I think that's PC only? I'm on a phone, so don't think I have the option to change those things

    And Wowo - Kensai w/o armor miss out on a lot of equipment. And have a poor AC, even with ironskin ... doesn't it get difficult to have that weak of an AC in HoF? I could see a Kensai Mage with a shield ring working well, but have difficulty with the Druid. 2 AC from ring, 3 ac from a cloak, not sure what else is available. I'm trying to go more tanky than DPS with this character too

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    edited November 2014
    schreier said:

    Elimnster - Thanks, but I think that's PC only? I'm on a phone, so don't think I have the option to change those things

    And Wowo - Kensai w/o armor miss out on a lot of equipment. And have a poor AC, even with ironskin ... doesn't it get difficult to have that weak of an AC in HoF? I could see a Kensai Mage with a shield ring working well, but have difficulty with the Druid. 2 AC from ring, 3 ac from a cloak, not sure what else is available. I'm trying to go more tanky than DPS with this character too

    Barkskin is a great defensive spell which is eventually better than the best armor. In the meantime, a Skald casting Spirit Armour is an amazing substitute for difficult fights.

    With barkskin, kensei bonus, protection ring, skald song and eventually entropic shield the Druid should be only hit on a 20. Ironskins soaks up
    Those 20s perfectly.

    JuliusBorisov
  • ifupaulineifupauline Member Posts: 405

    @Klorox I basically agree on 3/4, but I just can't find a proper use for a Druid. Got any strategies to share? I really want to make them work somehow.

    For real? just summon, summon and summon. here is your druid in iwd.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,107

    For real? just summon, summon and summon. here is your druid in iwd.

    I appreciate any insight, but could you be a bit more specific? Given the discussions we've already gone through, what summons would you say offer what specific benefits over the alternatives?

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058

    For real? just summon, summon and summon. here is your druid in iwd.

    I appreciate any insight, but could you be a bit more specific? Given the discussions we've already gone through, what summons would you say offer what specific benefits over the alternatives?
    The 2 that I used the most are Summon Fire Elemental and Stalker. The shambling mounds are amazingly resilient with their DR and the Fire Elemental are decent combatants that came along at a time when I had excess spell slots and tough battles. 6 elementals summoned by Druid, bard and mage are a formidable army.

    Call Woodland Being is always useful for the mass cure and her plethora of crowd control spells.

    jimmysdabestcopJuliusBorisovjackjack
  • jimmysdabestcopjimmysdabestcop Member Posts: 74
    Love the Shambling Mounds. Make sure when you cast your party buffs you summoned them first. Hasted and invisible Mounds with double emotion buff and clerics buffs. They wreck stuff.

    Once you get the regen HP spell you can cast it on them. And don't forget to heal them. I just wish they didn't get stuck in so many doorways. Ever hear of ducking Shambling Mounds???

    Shikao
  • ifupaulineifupauline Member Posts: 405

    For real? just summon, summon and summon. here is your druid in iwd.

    I appreciate any insight, but could you be a bit more specific? Given the discussions we've already gone through, what summons would you say offer what specific benefits over the alternatives?
    I remember having a lot of fun spamming water elemental and shambling mounds

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,107
    So, I've now completed another playthrough, this time using a Druid tank. Setup was:

    B7->D
    K9->M
    K9->C
    Blackguard
    Archer
    Skald

    I must say, druid tanking was quite good. Lots of options, and quite a few ways to get really tough. That being said, I'm not sure I was dealing more damage than a B7C. I rarely found spots where I would want to use damage spells, and the melee was simply straight weaker due to less buffs (no DuHM particularly). While better tanking can be useful at times (like with some of the more gnarly packs in Severed Hand), you quickly reach a point where you're so powerful it hardly ever matters and it all becomes about just plowing through the HoF HP pools as quickly as possible.
    K9->M was a bit disappointing tbh, but that's perhaps because I'm too used to BG2 versions of it. Yes, BBoD is tearing through things like a blowtorch through butter (and screw the disintegrate, most good gear is in chests anyway), but it takes quite a while to enable and I really found the Cleric more effective for a lot of the game.
    Blackguard did alright, basically like a FC with some extra sparkle. Poison is very good against the right enemies, and the Aura is useful - but until you get APR weapons, things are a bit slow (you do get them quite early though if you do HoW around Ch2). I am unsure whether it's better than a FC, but it's similar enough and not restricted on weapon choice so maybe...
    Archer continues to convince me of her worth, giving casters the finger big time is soooo convenient, and lots of lower damage is made up for by higher uptime/easier positioning/switching. Ammo availability continues to be a major annoyance though.
    Skald is alright, used the IH on her (together with PI) so she was basically a buff-bot. Still like the ease of use and consistency/gear independence, but I might try something else for my next run. We'll see.

    Speaking of next run, I think I'll let IWD rest until we get a proper AI mod á la SCS. The game is just way too easy if you know what you're doing, nothing really happens. The hardest part is C0/1, maybe early C2. After that you become so powerful you just burn through stuff like it's nothing, HoF or no HoF. Please, Modding Gods, bestow TTT upon us!

    JuliusBorisovAbel
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058

    So, I've now completed another playthrough, this time using a Druid tank. Setup was:

    B7->D
    K9->M
    K9->C
    Blackguard
    Archer
    Skald

    I must say, druid tanking was quite good. Lots of options, and quite a few ways to get really tough. That being said, I'm not sure I was dealing more damage than a B7C. I rarely found spots where I would want to use damage spells, and the melee was simply straight weaker due to less buffs (no DuHM particularly). While better tanking can be useful at times (like with some of the more gnarly packs in Severed Hand), you quickly reach a point where you're so powerful it hardly ever matters and it all becomes about just plowing through the HoF HP pools as quickly as possible.
    K9->M was a bit disappointing tbh, but that's perhaps because I'm too used to BG2 versions of it. Yes, BBoD is tearing through things like a blowtorch through butter (and screw the disintegrate, most good gear is in chests anyway), but it takes quite a while to enable and I really found the Cleric more effective for a lot of the game.
    Blackguard did alright, basically like a FC with some extra sparkle. Poison is very good against the right enemies, and the Aura is useful - but until you get APR weapons, things are a bit slow (you do get them quite early though if you do HoW around Ch2). I am unsure whether it's better than a FC, but it's similar enough and not restricted on weapon choice so maybe...
    Archer continues to convince me of her worth, giving casters the finger big time is soooo convenient, and lots of lower damage is made up for by higher uptime/easier positioning/switching. Ammo availability continues to be a major annoyance though.
    Skald is alright, used the IH on her (together with PI) so she was basically a buff-bot. Still like the ease of use and consistency/gear independence, but I might try something else for my next run. We'll see.

    Speaking of next run, I think I'll let IWD rest until we get a proper AI mod á la SCS. The game is just way too easy if you know what you're doing, nothing really happens. The hardest part is C0/1, maybe early C2. After that you become so powerful you just burn through stuff like it's nothing, HoF or no HoF. Please, Modding Gods, bestow TTT upon us!

    I see no benefit of B7/D compared to K9/D. Biggest issue with a kensei tank is critical hits but Druid has Ironskins to adbsorb those and meanwhile gets the bonus damage and AC from kensei. Spirit Armor and Barkskin sort out AC.

    How did it feel without a thief? No issues?

    Shikao
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,107
    Wowo said:

    I see no benefit of B7/D compared to K9/D. Biggest issue with a kensei tank is critical hits but Druid has Ironskins to adbsorb those and meanwhile gets the bonus damage and AC from kensei. Spirit Armor and Barkskin sort out AC.

    You're probably right, though the difference isn't big. In retrospect K probably would have made more sense.
    Wowo said:

    How did it feel without a thief? No issues?

    Only annoyance. Worst part is fights like Yxunomei where you have persistent traps all around, but it's manageable. Locks obviously no issue with DuHM, PP I did with the Skald (takes lots of reloads, another QoL thing). I wouldn't fault anyone for willingly taking a small performance hit to have less of a headache.

    ShikaoJuliusBorisov
  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,496
    edited January 2015
    Just to revive this topic - because i love druids - my answer is: Yes they are! And you even do not need a party. Just a druid alone is enough to make it through. The spells that felt most effective in my shapeshifter-solo-run were:

    Level 1 – Sun Scorch
    Lovely spell that remains useful till the end because of the +2 damage per level (max. +30). Worth to remember: The damage is dealt in two portions. If the enemy fails the saving throw it suffer 16-18 plus 16-18 fire damage. With a saving throw it hits for 16-18 fire damage once. Damage is doubled against shadows or undead creatures. Lovely bonus-effect: The target is blinded when it fails a saving throw making it even easier to take it down.

    Level 1 – Protection from Evil
    +2 Armor Class and Saving Throws vs evil creatures is always welcome. Plus: You get immune to any charm effects (even though charm effects seem to be very rare in Icewind Dale).

    Level 2 – Barkskin
    Great defensive spell that will lower your armor class significantly at higer levels. For example: At level 30 your natural armor class of 6 will get down to -5 – thats great. Most of the time i take two because the duration (4 rounds + 1/level) isnt super high – even though its enough for most encounters. Only downside: The ac-bonus does not stack with the werwolf forms so the armor class with or without the spell remains the same.

    Level 2 – Alicorn Lance
    A nice support spell. Beside the 3d6 piercing damage the enemy will suffer a -2 armor class penalty for three rounds so your summons will have an easier time to hit.

    Level 2 – Charm Person or Mammal
    A spell that can change the tides of battle in your favour although i must admit that i primarily used it in the beginning.

    Level 3 – Spike Growth
    Only 1d4 piercing and 1d4 slashing damage per round in a 30-ft. radius? Yes, but even if the plain numbers do not feel high this is one of my favourite spells. The key to its true power is: Stacking! If you manage to lay down five or more spikes under a swarm of enemies its damage will fly to the sky. Watching the combat log and the endless pages of small but constant damage will make you smile. You can combine this with Entangle or later on with summons to keep the enemies in place. Stalkers are the perfect tool for this combo as they only recieve half of the damage. Works great in combination with Insect Swarm as your elementals will be immune.

    Level 4 – Static Charge
    Great nuke spell that will hit for up to 25d8 (?) lightning damage per turn (a saving throw will half the damage). Only downside: Opposite to „Call Lightning“ this spell does not stack.

    Level 5 – Iron Skins
    One of your best defensive tools that will absorb up to 15 hits at level 30. A lifesaver for sure.

    Level 6 – Entropy Shield
    Great defensive tool. +6 Armor Class, +2 Saving Throws and 50 % resistance vs elemental damage.. Also grants immunity to Flame Strike and things like Magic Missile. The only weakness is its duration of 1 round per level even though this is enough for most encounters.

    Level 6 – Conjure Fire Elemental
    They work great in combination with Stalkers. The bonus fire damage will get through things like Stone Skin and will put an easy end to things like trolls.

    Level 7 – Stalkers
    Hands down: They are the best summons druids can get. Good Hit Points, nice crushing damage, 50 % damage reduction vs slashing, piercing and cold, 90% vs crushing plus immunity to fire & lightning. And the best: You will get two with one spellcast. Can you dream of more?

    Level 7 – Shield of Archons
    Nice to have vs spellcasters as it protects you from magic damage and debuffs. Sadly enough it will not help against dispel magic and area-of-effect-spells that are not centered on your character.

    Any other spells that should be mentioned? ;o)

    Post edited by Harpagornis on
    FinneousPJAbeljackjackJuliusBorisov
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058

    Just to revive this topic - because i love druids - my answer is: Yes they are! And you even do not need a party. Just a druid alone is enough to make it through. The spells that felt most effective in my shapeshifter-solo-run were:

    Level 1 – Sun Scorch
    Lovely spell that remains useful till the end because of the +2 damage per level (max. +30). Worth to remember: The damage is dealt in two portions. If the enemy fails the saving throw it suffer 16-18 plus 16-18 fire damage. With a saving throw it hits for 16-18 fire damage once. Damage is doubled against shadows or undead creatures. Lovely bonus-effect: The target is blinded when it fails a saving throw making it even easier to take it down.

    Level 1 – Protection from Evil
    +2 Armor Class and Saving Throws vs evil creatures is always welcome. Plus: You get immune to any charm effects (even though charm effects seem to be very rare in Icewind Dale).

    Level 2 – Barkskin
    Great defensive spell that will lower your armor class significantly at higer levels. For example: At level 30 your natural armor class of 6 will get down to -5 – thats great. Most of the time i take two because the duration (4 rounds + 1/level) isnt super high – even though its enough for most encounters. Only downside: The ac-bonus does not stack with the werwolf forms so the armor class with or without the spell remains the same.

    Level 2 – Alicorn Lance
    A nice support spell. Beside the 3d6 piercing damage the enemy will suffer a -2 armor class penalty for three rounds so your summons will have an easier time to hit.

    Level 2 – Charm Person or Mammal
    A spell that can change the tides of battle in your favour although i must admit that i primarily used it in the beginning.

    Level 3 – Spike Growth
    Only 1d4 piercing and 1d4 slashing damage per round in a 30-ft. radius? Yes, but even if the plain numbers do not feel high this is one of my favourite spells. The key to its true power is: Stacking! If you manage to lay down five or more spikes under a swarm of enemies its damage will fly to the sky. Watching the combat log and the endless pages of small but constant damage will make you smile. You can combine this with Entangle or later on with summons to keep the enemies in place. Stalkers are the perfect tool for this combo as they only recieve half of the damage.

    Level 4 – Static Charge
    Great nuke spell that will hit for up to 20d8 lightning damage per turn (a saving throw will half the damage). Only downside: Opposite to „Call Lightning“ this spell does not stack.

    Level 5 – Iron Skins
    One of your best defensive tools that will absorb up to 15 hits at level 30. A lifesaver for sure.

    Level 6 – Entropy Shield
    Great defensive tool. +6 Armor Class, +2 Saving Throws and 50 % resistance vs elemental damage.. Also grants immunity to Flame Strike and things like Magic Missile. The only weakness is its duration of 1 round per level even though this is enough for most encounters.

    Level 6 – Conjure Fire Elemental
    They work great in combination with Stalkers. The bonus fire damage will get through things like Stone Skin and will put an easy end to things like trolls.

    Level 7 – Stalkers
    Hands down: They are the best summons druids can get. Good Hit Points, nice crushing damage, 50 % damage reduction vs slashing and piercing plus immunity to fire & lightning. And the best: You will get two with one spellcast. Can you dream of more?

    Level 7 – Shield of Archons
    Nice to have vs spellcasters as it protects you from magic damage and debuffs. Sadly enough it will not help against dispel magic and area-of-effect-spells that are not centered on your character.

    Any other spells that should be mentioned? ;o)

    Call Woodland Being, Heal (while under Ironskins), Wondrous Recall, Creeping Doom, Natures Beauty, Crushing Wave, Insect Plague, Impervious Sactity of the Mind (to use Animal Rage).

    Shield of Archoms seems to block buffs too making it fairly situational.

  • ShikaoShikao Member Posts: 376
    @Harpagornis‌, that solo run you mentioned, on what difficulty was it?

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,496
    edited January 2015
    Yeah, the Heal-Spell can be a lifesaver - but i nearly never used it. With an Armor Class of -22 and thanks to the buffs immunity to fire, cold, electricity and acid plus shielding vs magic and iron skins you will not get hit that easy in greater werwolf form.

    The insect-plague is a nice addon if you play the stacking-game with Spike Stones as your elementals will be immune. Animal Rage on Stalkers - sounds intersting. But would it make them really stronger? For the druid himself its pointless. Losing spellcast hurts a lot and the greater werwolf is better for sure. Combining it with Impervious Sanctity of Mind just means: You lose spellslot(s) for Stalkers.

    I never used Crushing Wave because of friendly fire. Static Charge just feels too good to be replaced.

    Natures Beauty is cool yeah. Even if the enemies arent killed instantly (damn +3 save) the blinding effect is nice to have vs clustered enemy hordes.

    With regard to Shield of Archon: Its not blocking self-buffs - just tested it again. But yes its very situational anyway.

    @Shikao: I played - as the thread-title named it - on HoF to get at least a bit of a challenge. ;o)

    EDIT Another spell to mention:

    Level 3 - Call Lightning
    This spell is godlike when fighting outside. 1d8 per level lighting damage every round AND stacking. If you cast five or more the battle field will turn into a thunderstorm. No friendly fire. Works perfect in combination with your summons.

    Post edited by Harpagornis on
    JuliusBorisov
  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,496
    edited January 2015
    Druids are so much fun. Heart of Winter solo run in HOF-mode also completed. Definetely tougher than the original campaign. But that was maybe due to the fact that i started with a naked lvl 12 druid. Its really nice that you do not need any big items to be efficient - but thats something that could be said for most spellcasters, no?

    Call Lightning was far more important for the outdoor parts as the enemy on Burial Ground and in the Sea of Moving Ice sometimes get over you in big numbers. The very best item in my opinion is the Girdle of Ogre Blood. Instant summoning makes some parts that much easier. Beside this most of the time the classic combo of Summons+ Static Charge + Spike Growth was enough to get through the enemy hordes. Thanks to the Shambling Mounds! :smile:

  • HarpagornisHarpagornis Member Posts: 1,496
    edited January 2015
    Here is a small profile for the - maybe - best cannon fodder in the game. Yes, these guys are tough. They will distract opponents, keeping them from attacking you. And: They will harm a lot. They are the (!) reason why druids are viable for Solo-HOF-Runs.

    L7 - STALKER

    Casting Time : 0.9 rounds
    Duration : 450 rounds (or 8 hours)
    Effect : Creates 2 Shambling Mounds that willingly aid the caster.

    Shambling Mounds statistics :
    Has about 298 hitpoints in HOF
    90% resistance to crushing damage
    50% resistant to slashing damage
    50% resistant to missile damage
    50% resistant to piercing damage
    Immune to electricity damage
    Immune to fire damage
    50% resistant to cold damage
    Does 3-18 crushing damage per hit
    3 attacks per round
    5% chance that target will be entangled
    and suffer 1d4 crushing damage per round
    Armor Class: ?????
    THAC0: ?????

    Thats all the information i could get so far after testing and watching them ingame. Cheers to the Shambling Mounds for playing the punching balls! :smile:


    P.S. Does anyone has detailed numbers for AC and THAC0?

    MrGoodkatkensaiJuliusBorisovreivision
  • AerichAerich Member Posts: 110
    An old thread I know, but I feel strongly on this point... for a lvl 1 HoF party, a multiclass fighter/druid was probably the strongest single party member in the critical early part of the game (this may be different with the advent of the sorceror), as well as in huge swaths of HoW/TotL. Prior to the dwarven defender, with a little luck, the druid had the easiest time obtaining the all-important 100+% damage resistance to slashing, with which spectral guards turn from monsters into gadflies. Cast 4-6 Static Charges, shapechange to water elemental (with a particular item), and watch the spectral guards fry while they heal your druid by attacking it...

    Your melee damage output early on isn't enough to deal with hordes of strong goblins; enter the druid. Entangle, Spike Growth, Call Lightning, how'd'you do? If you have a paladin (immune to disease), a fun tactic is to use Mold Touch on the gobbies swarming the pally - or, you can infect your own summons and send them into packs of enemies. It's like Shroud of Flame, Kuldahar Pass style. All of these spells/tactics save you critical damage throughout the game, as do the seeming dozens of strong summons to which the druid has access.

    If you need a tank, the boring beetle is available early with great damage resistances. You have pack after pack of big, damaging summons that make a cleric's animate dead look like weaklings, which is important for tough areas like Dragon's Eye, before you have access to the equipment, spells, and levels to steamroll through everything in melee. Typically, my F/Ds will have the highest damage output and kill percentage in a lvl 1 HoF party until at least Upper Dorn's, then other characters come into their power and even it out a little, and the druid takes another big step forward with the water elemental shapechange and it's lvl 7 summons - creeping doom and summon stalker are incredible meatshields, with stalkers incredibly powerful against remorhaz. Need a cold-resistant character? Enter Storm Shell and the polar bear shapechange. If you want to rip through an area in melee, simply equip a weapon, cast as many static charges as you can, and join the mayhem.

    I consider a fighter/druid to be an incredibly versatile character that puts its own stamp on every significant fight in many ways that other characters simply cannot, and its value is much more than its typically strong numbers, because of the contribution of its summons, status effecting spells, and available resistances.

    FinneousPJJuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,110
    Thanks, @Aerich , for your input. This thread cannot become old I think, because the type of the topic here is relevant anytime.

  • AerichAerich Member Posts: 110
    I'm happy to contribute to the discussion, @bengoshi. Druids are my favourite casters.

    My recent HoF party (with a near-fresh fighter/druid) crushed the Pass by luring all but 4 of the gobbies in the first outside area into one big spelltrap of hurt. Web/Glitterdust/Grease all helped, but you simply cannot do enough AoE damage with other characters to do this early game without a druid. I did use Call Lightning as well as Spike Growth, but arguably another Spike Growth would have caused more damage here because the amount of damage for it is not level-dependent.

    Going back in this discussion a few pages, arguably not only is this method here "viable" but it is also efficient. No resting needed, almost all monsters defeated in a single fight.

    JuliusBorisov
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