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I have a newfound appreciation for Fighters.

EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 130
Greetings, all!

Last week, I started BGEE as a Human Fighter (Kensai) with the intent of dualing him to Mage in BG2EE. I rolled my stats enough to be able to afford an 18 in STR, DEX, CON, and INT. I chose Axes and Dual Wielding as my starting proficiencies, and leveled up Axes at every opportunity. I chose Axes due to their melee and throwing potential. I was rockin' the game solo, except for one part where I needed to borrow my sister (Imoen) for her ability to unlock certain locks I couldn't bash open myself.

Having come from a background of "Magic solves everything," and having thought that a solo Sorcerer was the solution to enough of my problems in the BG series, it was refreshing and awe-inspiring to see just how powerful this simple character was. (Baldur's Gate back in 1999 was new and foreign to me, and taught me that magic missile always hits; Fighters can't cast spells; multiclass Mages can't wear armor; and that a single character was a lot more easy to manage and potentially a lot more powerful than a party, among other things. In short, the game and the mechanic - needing to hit and hitting so unreliably - that turned me off of Fighters and non-casters in general in '99 wowed me about 15 years later!)

I've heard reports of people who say that a low-level Kensai in BG1 is a waste of space or a liability, and I can understand their point. I rest-farmed Watchers in Candlekeep until I was level 4, did some quests, then rest-farmed Ankhegs until I hit the level cap of 8. There were rare times I used buffing potions or scrolls, but on Core Rules difficulty (with maximum HP per hit die), I had very little trouble throughout the game. In terms of combat challenges, the Battle Horrors outside of Durlag's Tower were among the hardest things to take down, simply because I had to melee them and chain chug potions. Daeravorn in Cloakwood was a challenge due to him continually teleporting and casting spells, though with the right potions and defensive scrolls, he would have been easy.

This brings me to my final point: Much like a spellcaster, given ample time to prepare (especially with having the right weapons and potions), the game's combat challenges mostly weren't. The final boss was an interesting struggle as a Sorcerer with a half orc Fighter/Thief and an elfblood Cleric/Mage companion (it was a multiplayer game), but after drinking about 10 potions - an Oil of Speed probably being the most important among them - he was easy!

The Black Pits mode was effectively the same thing, just accelerated. Dual wield battle axes as magical as I could find, get a stack or two of throwing axes, buy a bunch of Oils of Speed, and just win most battles. The Ring of Fire Command, Boots of Speed, and red Cloak of Protection (with improved haste!) meant I just butchered most things without trying very hard. For the rare fight I had to repeat, I quickly found out what I needed to do (like make myself immune to fire or ice), then rushed for the biggest threat.

A Baldur's Gate arcane caster relies on patience, strategy, and intellect. A Baldur's Gate Fighter runs on adrenaline.

Having played 3.x extensively for many years, and knowing that WotC tended to play characters in 3.x in a 2E style, I can understand why they thought Fighters were so powerful and casters not. I struggled extensively in many areas of the BG games as a solo Sorcerer, but I breezed through them as a Kensai. Kai was barely a factor since I so rarely used it. It was mostly my Fighter's high HP, fast movement speed, fast attack speed, and the amount of reliable tremendous damage I could do each round that put the Kensai on top. I was my own mobile can of whoopass that could annihilate any reasonable threat in a round or 3 if I could simply hit.

PS: I've never finished BG2 and am about to start it again. Pweath don't spoil things!

PPS: Drizzt was a challenge in melee when I was fully buffed. Then I realized I could run away and reliably hit him with my throwing axes, so I did!

BlackravenkcwiseJuliusBorisovNonnahswriterSwifty_MageeMusignylunarTRoarjackjack

Comments

  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 130
    I didn't use a reimportation trick in Candlekeep until after I beat the game. I just rested behind the barracks, spawned a Watcher, and killed it. I did this until I had enough money to get what I wanted (a maximum reputation, especially, which cost 4200G) and enough EXP to reach L4.

    I don't rely on Kai for extra damage since it takes time to activate, lasts so briefly, and can have its activation interrupted.

    kcwiseBlackraven
  • EndarireEndarire Member Posts: 130
    In a previous version of BG1EE, EXP gained in the Black Pits accumulated beyond the level 10 cap. I assumed this was true when I made the transition, and earned just enough EXP in the Pits to get me to Kensai13. I tested the importing to BG2EE and found my excess EXP was gone!

    One EEKeeper modification later, I was back in shape with my 1.45 million EXP. I dualed to Mage and am about to begin BG2EE - when my multiplayer friends are available. (My starting spells were find familiar and chromatic orb and my starting proficiency was Daggers, due to throwing daggers.)

    kcwiseBlackraven
  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    Fun reading, thanks for sharing your experiences!

    JuliusBorisovMusignyBlackravenjackjack
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 15,539
    I second @Blackraven‌ 's and @kcwise‌ 's sentiments, thanks for sharing your joy! The more people follow unpopular routes and try unpopular classes/kits, the better.

    But
    Endarire said:

    There were rare times I used buffing potions or scrolls, but on Core Rules difficulty (with maximum HP per hit die), I had very little trouble throughout the game.

    Maybe if you had random HP rolls, a kensai run wouldn't be that simple : )

    kcwiseMusignyBlackravenShikao
  • TRoarTRoar Member Posts: 50
    edited December 2014
    I like fighters too. The high strength bonuses to THAC0 and damage go a long way.

    kcwiseBlackravenatcDave
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,343
    edited December 2014
    When you try different things you discover new and interesting ways to play the game. Next time maybe you will enjoy thieves. Many people think single class thieves are worthless but it is far from true. Thieves are extremely useful, versatile and potent characters. Depending on the kit, they can backstab, poison enemies, hide in plain sight, and set traps. Traps are very powerful. At high bg2 lvls with hlas thieves become 'ridiculously overpowered'. They are capable and fun in bg1 environment. Downright cheesy and overpowered at bg2-tob. But it is okay. Thieves aren't supposed to fight fair or clean, after all.

    It is a whole different dimension in gameplay to play a thief pc effectively then say, a straightforward fighter. Mages even become straightforward once you become intimate with spells. Every good mage player will pick sleep, mirror image, fireball and stoneskin spells. Thieves are all up to the player's style, and thus give a richer experience, IMHO.

    ShikaokcwiseBlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,027
    On thieves, I will say that they're a pain to micromanage to their full effectiveness, so I rarely like single-classed thieves in parties. Solo, however, you can devote your full attention to them, and they really start to shine.

    lunarkcwiseBlackravenJuliusBorisov
  • GamingFreakGamingFreak Member Posts: 639
    Others can be specialists, some can be proficient. Others may even turn to the arcane or divine... But only one can truly become... a master.

    A grand-master in a fighter on paper doesn't *sound* too special until you actually whack something with a weapon they grand-master in. A Kensai is a rather unique example because they're the glass cannons of this game; they take more damage than arguably anything else in the game since they're in the thickest of action with no armor... but they destroy everything they touch with sheer power and accuracy.

    kcwiseTRoar
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