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SCSII smarter enemies

I beat BG1EE last week for the first time with SCS installed, but only the improved AI components (smarter mages/priests, basilisks, sirines, etc), no improved encounters. I consider myself a novice and the difficulty for me was about right. Like in vanilla, the early game is brutal, but it gets steadily challenging once you get a few levels. Naturally, the difficult drops once once your acquire late gear (that's what improved encounters is for, I presume), but I loved that SCS will still punish you if you get lazy or careless even if you are strong. At no point I felt cheated.

It's been years since I last played BG2 and SCSII is a very different beast, in a good way. The jump in difficulty is blatant! In SCSI, enemy mages would cast all sorts of crowd control and leave you helpless for their petty fighters, now they will take no hostages!! Alchemist fighters are also nasty and ninja thieves are a new force to be reckoned with! I certainly need to update my knowledge about spell combat.

I have done about 7 quests so far and before I go on, I'd like to know how hard are the 'smarter enemies' component? Especially dragons and fiends. I have these installed and I'd be very interested if they behaved more realistically (which is the stark premise of the mod, at least for me), but if that made them much harder, I'd be definitely biting more than I can chew. I barely noticed the changes from smarter enemies in the first one, and some of them proved to be harder in vanilla (sirines, for example).

As a side question, do you guys install spell fixes and tweaks, like better Improved Mantle, nerfed Iron Skins, etc? What about overhaul from PnP mods, like aTweaks?



  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,284
    Glad you're having a good time!

    If you're only playing with smarter enemies, it doesn't generally matter if an enemy caster is a dragon, a mage or even a lich. Obviously the typical or unique powers of certain enemies or enemy types will still mean that these fights are all different: the Shadow Dragon has a level drain ability, Kangaxx spams Imprisonment etc (but his isn't any different in vanilla). My point is that casters' general behavior will be the same: smarter targeting and lots of instant 'pre-buffs' (and contingencies) like Stoneskins, Improved Invisibility, PfMW, Spell Immunities, Mantles etc that will require you to first debuff before you can deal damage or debilitate, while they can and will immediately start casting offensively.

    The easiest way to deal with this is having a good dispeller, particularly an Inquisitor with innate Dispel Magic or a Bard that casts Remove Magic. (Mages get Dispel/Remove Magic as well but Inquisitors cast at twice their level and Bards level much faster and are therefore more likely to succesfully cast those spells.) If you don't have such a character, Mages get lots of enemy-debuff spells whose effectiveness isn't level-dependent, but you'll need to know which protections are stripped by which spells. This is quite complicated. You might be interested in this link:

    Regarding Fiends, I've never had serious issues with them in unmodded or SCS playthroughs. aTweaks is another matter though. It's one of my favorite mods, but if you install all the Fiend components you're going to have a hard time. Fiends gating in other fiends, Glabrezus stunning your entire party if you don't watch out. Lots of fun though.

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