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The Nightmare Mode (Legacy of Bhaal) Thread

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Comments

  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 285
    One thing I wish I had for LOB playthrough with so many mages is auto-pause on 'ready to cast' or basically static pause after 6 seconds from casting a spell. So that I can always fit 3 spells between PFMW without losing APR. Unfortunately auto-pause on end of round doesn't work this way especially for FM types.

    Do you @semiticgod know by any chance if its even technically possible to do this in IE engine? If so I could probably dig around I make my own script or something.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,692
    @Myrag: Nope. Auto-pause stuff is hard-coded.

    For a fighter/mage, you can count attack rolls and use them to time your spells. A fighter/mage with 4 APR casting a spell with a casting time of 5, for example, would cast the spell, make two attacks, and then be ready to cast the next spell. A single-classed mage could count a single attack roll from a sling or something, but since the sling would have little impact, you could always just order the mage to cast their next spell right after they finish the previous one, and let them begin casting whenever it is that their aura is clear.

    Or you can download the Jimfix mod, which gives notifications in the dialogue box for when spells are about to expire. That wouldn't give you the exact same thing as an "aura clear" auto-pause, but it does help you optimize lots of other things. For instance, a PFMW would say "Protection from Magical Weapons expires in 12 seconds" after 2 rounds have passed, then "Protection from Magical Weapons expires in 6 seconds" after 3 rounds have passed, and when it finally wore off, it would say "Protection from Magical Weapons has expired."

    The spell notifications stack, so if you cast two PFMW spells one after another (say, to make sure you had a clear aura 4 rounds into the future), you would get notifications for both PFMW durations, including a message saying it expired when the first PFMW wore off, even if the second PFMW is still active.

    The notifications appear when the remaining duration is 120, 60, 30, 12, and 6 seconds, as well as a final notification when the spell expires. Potion buffs and innate spells don't get notifications.

    The mod also adds notifications when somebody begins casting a spell, so you'll know if an enemy spellcaster is casting an abjuration spell even if you don't hear the incantation and the visual effect of the spellcasting is hidden behind other stuff on the screen.

    StummvonBordwehrMyragArctodus
  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 285
    Thanks @semiticgod, this matches what I assumed.

    I do use jimfix and I'm very happy with it just was thinking in 6 man environment which I always play near end of the game there are just sooo many things to track it's just plain tedious. Especially when fighting big 5 in ascension so much happens that I get zyllion of lines per second in log.

    Well I guess I will just stick to my current setup then. Thanks again.

    I was able to move through Ameyssan fight it seems I got stuck because I've killed Imoen. Didn't know you can't or it will break encounter and the beam bridges never spawn.

    I currently honestly feel this encounter would be easier with some melee 100% DR bruiser. DD protagonist with 25% DR from pocket plane, 20% innate, 50% defensive stance and 3% helmet would reach nice 98% DR for pretty much duration of the encounter without using DoE, maybe I should give it a go.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,094
    edited February 2018
    Myrag said:

    DD protagonist with 25% DR from pocket plane, 20% innate, 50% defensive stance and 3% helmet would reach nice 98% DR for pretty much duration of the encounter without using DoE, maybe I should give it a go.

    As I've found out during my DD testing (see a few pages back), it appears that a lot of SCS enemies are scripted to break off attacks as soon as a target reaches 75% physical resistance, meaning most monsters will simply beeline it for other party members and ignore your DD. There appear to be some exceptions, though, including big bosses - I have no trouble maintaining aggro on dragons or golems, for example, at any resistance value, even though any random troll will almost instantly break off. This can be solved by positioning in some instances, i.e. boxing in the enemy so they can't actually reach anyone else (doorways or other choke points help tremendously).

    I haven't really gotten to testing the DD setup extensively on Ascension so I don't know how the bosses there behave, and how tankable they are. It's on my list.

    Speaking of testing, I've gotten some work done but it's not been anything mindblowing or unexpected, for the most part. As I mentioned, I was trying out a very defensive/controlling setup:

    DD
    F/M/C
    Archer
    WS9->Dru
    Sorcerer
    Skald

    I went back to the WS9->Druid as a dedicated mage-killer, using not only the WS failure but insects etc. to make sure nothing gets cast. Clerics, of course, remain a major nuisance as their spells aren't affected by WS failure and they appear to have ludicrous interrupt resistances. I've had a cleric be knocked back by my Pandemonium Harp plus have 2 people landing hits on it constantly, and they still got off a 5+ cast time spell no problem. No idea if that's just hard-cast scripting or the interrupt resistance but it sure gets annoying at times...

    Weapon selection I kept mostly on ranged damage, to facilitate ultra-safe tanking. Throwing spears seems quite viable under IR/SR as they benefit from STR and have decent damage - Impaler especially will wreck most enemies without piercing resistance quite effectively (13 average damage, making it on par with an admittedly nerfed FoA+5 and only 1 point behind Carsomyr+4). Crom Faeyr is a throwing weapon in IR as well, of course, meaning enough great endgame choices for that setup (Dwarven Thrower for early game). Of course, they can switch to melee as needed if I feel it's safe enough.

    I feel I got the tanking part down by now. Some regeneration spells and the invaluable Vampire's Revenge mean I can stand in a doorway all day long and hold it against a horde of 20 trolls without breaking a sweat as the team pelts it from afar. Works equally well against big enemies that you can tank (dragons, golems, see above) but gets iffy once the terrain is not conducive to blocking, or there's enemies you can't effectively control, like vampires. Speaking of which, those SCS vampires are getting on my nerves something fierce in LoB, with their 20 LoB-HP rats and their wild teleporting all over the place. Second only to trolls not falling down when they should in levels of annoyance.

    Luckily this party is fairly resilient outside of tanking as well, as everyone but the Archer have access to Stone Skin (and other defensive spells, of course). It's amazing how long a puny Sorcerer can tank if they have to.

    The damage output is a bit on the low side (since I'm not abusing things like 100x ADHW triggers and such) which gets annoying in scenarios where you just want to very quickly mow down things - Mind Flayers and Beholders are good examples of that, as the fights get a lot more annoying the longer they go on. Archer can still be trusted with that, of course, and is as great as ever at just delivering death any which way you like. I do miss having a second one around, though.

    I've only gotten to Suldanessalar with this party so far, as I'm simply running out of time (no WK either). It seemed alright, but I'm still debating a few things.

    The WS9->Druid was better than expected, maybe just being an insect bot and little else is the way to go. It doesn't work too well against some mages (elemental shield contingencies abound) but it was alright. Certainly better than most of my other druid experiments. I toyed around a bit with the Greater Earth Elemental shapeshift, but of course I'm not using the version where you can hand over the shapeshift tokens to other people and it wasn't all that amazing on just the druid. Maybe I'm missing something?

    F/M/C is the big question mark, really. I love having all the buff spells. More mage spells, more cleric spells, all buffs all day long. Thought about just F/C, but not having dispel protection is a little annoying, plus more spell removals. No level 9 spells sucks, I guess, but I do have the Sorcerer for that, and having lvl 8 spells on top of Cleric spells seems better than lvl 9 and no Cleric spells. Still, it's possible I might just want to go back to Inquisitor here - losing buffs and Stone Skin sucks to be sure, but the deeper into the game it goes the more effective Inquisitor dispel becomes and it sure solves a LOT of problems. True Sight spam helps, too. Also, not using Carsomyr just seems like a mistake, doesn't it?

    Sorcerer was about what I expected it to be. Sitting around casting debuff after debuff most of the time, stacking whatever stat malady it can come up with. Some CC thrown in for the mix, of course, though even after debuffs enemy saving throws just seem out of this world. Maybe it's time to dig out that mod component that adds ST penalties based on caster level? But that just seems super cheesy, idk. I feel like a lot of pure-caster power comes from things I'm simply reluctant to use, like Wish resting, extensive use of triggers/contingencies, Project Image nonsense, and of course summons in general. That's just me being me, of course, objectively I fully understand why those are bonkers. And I suppose there is something to be said about mundane strategies like chain-casting ADHWs on a pack of enemies bottled in by the tank. That's quite adequate damage output.

    I'll take it to ToB next weekend and see how it goes, maybe throw some random tests in here and there. Still thinking about how on earth to fit a Monk into everything. Their fist damage is crazy; with the damage gauntlets they beat even the highest damage weapon, Carsomyr+5, in average per-hit damage (18.5 vs. 18). But they are just SO fragile and fall over as soon as you but look at them. Bleh. Any good suggestions?

    AerakarCurmudgeon
  • LanoisuledexLanoisuledex Member Posts: 2
    So Im toward the end of TOB on LOB difficulty using in game characters my protagonist is a F/M. Most of my peeps are maxed out or close to max and ive got most of if not all the good loot. I play on an IPad so I cant load mods. I cant seem to solve the Ravager, any advice?

    FinneousPJ
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,692
    @Lanoisuledex: What kind of gear are you working with? The Ravager requires +4 weapons to hit and has spectacular regeneration, so I'm guessing you're having trouble overcoming its sheer resistance to melee weapons.

    The Ravager has 90% magic resistance and immunity to almost all disablers, but Pierce Shield and Pierce Magic, if not Lower Resistance, can decrease its MR and render it vulnerable to spells. Damage spells won't do much due to its resistances, but last I checked, the Ravager was actually vulnerable to Hold Monster, if not any other disablers. If you can manage to land that spell, which might require reloads, that would make things a little easier.

    Who are your other party members? A fighter/mage protagonist makes a great tank thanks to Protection from Magical Weapons (very important, because the Ravager inflicts stun and dispel magic on hit, I think), but you might need a lot of help from the rest of the party to actually deal the damage needed to kill the Ravager.

    If you have a v2.5 install, the most recent update, I think LoB also grants -10 AC to enemies, which will make them far harder to hit. If you can't land hits reliably (in the Options menu, you can enable attack rolls so you can see how high you need to roll to land a hit), then you might have to use the Answerer to lower the Ravager's AC to increase your accuracy. As for actually landing those hits with the Answerer, the Critical Strike and Smite HLAs can grant automatic hits.

    JuliusBorisovMyragStummvonBordwehrgorgonzola
  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 285
    edited January 22
    @Lanoisuledex there isn't much to be said other than what already @semiticgod said. This fight is just a gear check before final fight. Considering you got here then you should be able to get past this monster of a demon.

    If you have a v2.5 install, the most recent update, I think LoB also grants -10 AC to enemies

    It's -11AC I think. But tomato, potato.

    If you post your part members we might try to figure out a tactic that will ease things up.

    You can also try this tactic.

    Use one character to kite all spawned swords away (can use planetar since its very strong defensive wise and it can't hit ravager anyway). Don't kill them since they will keep respawning. Reason you kite them away is so that your summons don't get distracted and attack them.
    Then use any of your mages to cast 5x Morde swords. They do decent work, not only they hit for 5d4 damage but also have 2 APR base on LOB. Cast improved haste on all of them to get 4APR each. This would net you 20 attacks per round with 5d4 attack each. Further combine this with Answerer on F/M will make sure all morde swords hit constantly. If you got cleric make sure to cast chant since +1 luck works wonders on 5d4 roll. Bringing it up from 12.5 average damage to 16.25! Bless grants +1 damage rolls which is also very good.

    In case casting 5 morde is an issue then vecna + alacrity helps or just use chain contigency.

    Also if you got Aerie. She is C/M which means she can use minor sequencer to cast Bless/Chant instantly which is one of the best uses for minor sequencer in the game.

    semiticgodStummvonBordwehrGrond0gorgonzola
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,692
    The Harm spell can win the fight as well if you can get past the Ravager's AC and magic resistance. If you happen to have a fighter/cleric or fighter/mage/cleric, you could just use Critical Strike to land it instantly, but otherwise you'd need to lower its AC via the Answerer or pin it using Hold Monster (assuming Hold Monster does in fact work; my experience with that spell might be outdated by now).

    StummvonBordwehr
  • LanoisuledexLanoisuledex Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the comments. Ill try some of these tactics. I wore him down to bad injured before he started wiping folks out. To answer a question from above I have, Keldorn, Minsc, Jaheira, Anomen,and Imoen in my party.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,692
    Let us know how things play out!

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,372
    @Lanoisuledex you could just use the reflection shield and get the ravager to kill itself ...

    StummvonBordwehrsemiticgod
  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    Great discussion here, though most took place prior to last year’s patch for LoB. I’m curious if anyone had extensive recent experience with LoB + SCS + Ascension with Inquisitors. One of the notable changes to LoB is +12 to enemy levels and I suspect that it makes Inquisitors less useful.

    For example, suppose your Inquisitor is lvl 15 and you’re facing lvl 18 opponents. Prior to last year, an Inquisitor’s lvl 30 dispel would yield a 95% dispel rate. The current dispel rate is only 50% (lvl 30 dispel vs. lvl 30 (18 + 12 lvl LoB adjustment)). My suspicion is that the RNG introduced by the patch makes Inquisitors unreliable and less worthy of a party slot, since we still need to stock up on conventional anti-protection tools for frequent situations when dispels fail and you’re only as strong as your ability to handle worst-case scenarios.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,692
    @hugin7: Welcome to the forums! I'm not sure if the +12 levels came from last year's patch (if that's the v2.5 update, I thought the only change was the -11 AC), but it does pose a serious problem for dispelling issues.

    A lot of it depends on which SCS component you have installed. If Inquisitors in your install dispel at their own level, they'll almost never succeed at dispelling enemy spells. If they dispel at 1.5x or 2x, though, they will max out a level 40 Dispel Magic at levels 27 or 20, respectively. That would still be a 95% or 100% success rate against level 18 opponents in LoB mode, and it would be a decent shot at handling a fair number of critters in ToB. Earlier in the game, Dispel Magic would be fairly dicey depending on where you are.

    Still, SCS spellcasters often buff with SI: Abjuration, and since the Rod of Reversal takes down higher-level spell protections first, you'd need a mage or bard for anti-magic spells even in non-LoB SCS. If you have a few mage levels in the party, a stream of anti-magic spells and Breach could be more reliable than an Inquisitor.

    hugin7JuliusBorisovStummvonBordwehr
  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    @semiticgod – Thank you! In my case, I didn’t nerf Inquisitors. As you say, there are still situations where Inquisitor dispels are effective, with party level = 20 being the sweet spot, especially against weak opponents. Even at that sweet spot, however, the most challenging enemies would be a few levels higher than the party. Against a lvl 25 enemy, Inquisitor’s success rate would be 65% ((lvl 20 * 2 – (lvl 25 + 12 LoB adjustment)) * 3).

    After level 20, things only get worse for Inquisitors, since their dispels are capped at lvl 40, but enemies continue to level. Bards eventually hit lvl 40, albeit late, so their end-game dispels are just as good as Inquisitors’, but with the added advantages of having party-friendly Remove Magic and time traps at their disposal, so there is potential to dispel even before enemies get to act.

    Good to know that SI:Abjuration is common among SCS enemies. If we have to peel away multiple layers before clearing SI, might as well cast Breach.

    There is one additional thing that might redeem Inquisitors – is it common for SCS mages/clerics to cast buffs on non-mage allies? In other words, do we often have opponents buffed with Bless, Chant, Haste, Protection from Magic Energy, etc.? If so, even marginally successful AOE dispels could yield value without getting blocked by caster-only protections.
    semiticgod wrote: »
    @hugin7: Welcome to the forums! I'm not sure if the +12 levels came from last year's patch (if that's the v2.5 update, I thought the only change was the -11 AC), but it does pose a serious problem for dispelling issues.

    A lot of it depends on which SCS component you have installed. If Inquisitors in your install dispel at their own level, they'll almost never succeed at dispelling enemy spells. If they dispel at 1.5x or 2x, though, they will max out a level 40 Dispel Magic at levels 27 or 20, respectively. That would still be a 95% or 100% success rate against level 18 opponents in LoB mode, and it would be a decent shot at handling a fair number of critters in ToB. Earlier in the game, Dispel Magic would be fairly dicey depending on where you are.

    Still, SCS spellcasters often buff with SI: Abjuration, and since the Rod of Reversal takes down higher-level spell protections first, you'd need a mage or bard for anti-magic spells even in non-LoB SCS. If you have a few mage levels in the party, a stream of anti-magic spells and Breach could be more reliable than an Inquisitor.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,692
    @hugin7: Even with SCS, enemy spellcasters will not pre-buff their allies. Only after combat starts will they help their buddies, which can include spells like Bless and Haste as well as healing spells and Remove Paralysis.

    hugin7gorgonzolaJuliusBorisov
  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    Has anyone been able to use the Jimfix notification component with patch 2.5.16.6 and SCS 32? I’ve come across comments that suggest that it no longer works. Some hint that it only breaks with Icewind Dale spell components from SCS, which I’m strongly considering uninstalling in favor of Jimfix. Not only do I value having spell timers, but I’m concerned that low-quality IWD spells would poison the overall scroll pool and leave me with fewer of the BG spells I really need for my arcane-heavy party.

    Assuming it’s not broken, does anyone know if it’s possible to install it on top of SCS, Ascension, and a whole zoo of quest mods, or does it need to be installed early?
    semiticgod wrote: »
    @Myrag: Nope. Auto-pause stuff is hard-coded.

    For a fighter/mage, you can count attack rolls and use them to time your spells. A fighter/mage with 4 APR casting a spell with a casting time of 5, for example, would cast the spell, make two attacks, and then be ready to cast the next spell. A single-classed mage could count a single attack roll from a sling or something, but since the sling would have little impact, you could always just order the mage to cast their next spell right after they finish the previous one, and let them begin casting whenever it is that their aura is clear.

    Or you can download the Jimfix mod, which gives notifications in the dialogue box for when spells are about to expire. That wouldn't give you the exact same thing as an "aura clear" auto-pause, but it does help you optimize lots of other things. For instance, a PFMW would say "Protection from Magical Weapons expires in 12 seconds" after 2 rounds have passed, then "Protection from Magical Weapons expires in 6 seconds" after 3 rounds have passed, and when it finally wore off, it would say "Protection from Magical Weapons has expired."

    The spell notifications stack, so if you cast two PFMW spells one after another (say, to make sure you had a clear aura 4 rounds into the future), you would get notifications for both PFMW durations, including a message saying it expired when the first PFMW wore off, even if the second PFMW is still active.

    The notifications appear when the remaining duration is 120, 60, 30, 12, and 6 seconds, as well as a final notification when the spell expires. Potion buffs and innate spells don't get notifications.

    The mod also adds notifications when somebody begins casting a spell, so you'll know if an enemy spellcaster is casting an abjuration spell even if you don't hear the incantation and the visual effect of the spellcasting is hidden behind other stuff on the screen.

  • StromaelStromael Member Posts: 167
    @hugin7 I have Jimfix spell timers installed on top of a fairly extensive Trilogy installation, including SCS v32 and Ascension - the three of them seem to work fine together. I'm at work currently so can't post my WeiDU log, but I can do it later if it's any use?

    JuliusBorisov
  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    Thank you, I will test it out!
    Stromael wrote: »
    @hugin7 I have Jimfix spell timers installed on top of a fairly extensive Trilogy installation, including SCS v32 and Ascension - the three of them seem to work fine together. I'm at work currently so can't post my WeiDU log, but I can do it later if it's any use?

  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    edited October 9
    I am looking for a challenging BG2 encounter to test out a party with 1.5 million xp. I haven’t played EE yet, but I seem to recall that the party has access to almost everything in chapter 2 based on my experience with vanilla many years ago. The idea is to use a custom party with level-appropriate equipment, spells, etc. from EE Keeper and teleport them via console to an encounter of choice.

    I had trouble finding a good encounter and finally stumbled into AR0516 – Planar Prison. I was faced with a Warden and multiple mages, etc. The number and diversity of opponents suggested that this is a good encounter and, IIRC, it’s normally done in chapter 2. Unfortunately, I also seem to recall that there was something plot-related that had to be done to weaken the Warden (kill Master of Thralls?), and since I teleported right to him, this wasn’t done.

    I was surprised that the Warden and company have capabilities way beyond what one might expect to face in Chapter 2. He instantly summons a Fallen Planetar, etc. I expect this from a ToB opponent, but it seems early to be faced with something like this. At this point in the game, SI, PfmW, Death Wards, elemental protections, and magical energy protections are available, but scarce, so a planetar with ~700hp, -19AC, 5 vorpal attacks/round with on-hit dispels can wear down a well-prepared party once key buffs expire in a conventional (cheese-free) battle.

    Before I proceed to deal with this encounter with increasingly intricate, and if necessary, cheesy tactics, I’m curious if this battle is truly representative of what we can expect at this xp level. Is weakening the Warden mandatory for transforming this into a level-appropriate encounter? I also wonder if I triggered some sort of bug due to messing around with 8 million xp parties earlier and had the Warden encounter boosted to the level of a different party.

    Please let me know of another encounter for a 1.5 mil xp party. I hope to teleport directly to the area and not have it gated by any plot events.

    Edit: not to put words in anyone’s mouth, but is Guarded Compound, Upstairs (AR0907) a good, level-appropriate fight? Enemies are Sion (14th-level Abjurer), Stalman (16th-level Cleric), Koshi (16th-level Kensai), an Orog named Olaf Rassmusen (17th-level Fighter), a Minotaur named Maferan (17th-level Fighter), and Ketta (19th-level Thief). They out-level my party, but IIRC, this is a chapter 2 encounter.

    Post edited by hugin7 on
  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    edited October 9
    I am looking for a challenging BG2 encounter to test out a party with 1.5 million xp. I haven’t played EE yet, but I seem to recall that the party has access to almost everything in chapter 2 based on my experience with vanilla many years ago. The idea is to use a custom party with level-appropriate equipment, spells, etc. from EE Keeper and teleport them via console to an encounter of choice.

    I had trouble finding a good encounter and finally stumbled into AR0516 – Planar Prison. I was faced with a Warden and multiple mages, etc. The number and diversity of opponents suggested that this is a good encounter and, IIRC, it’s normally done in chapter 2. Unfortunately, I also seem to recall that there was something plot-related that had to be done to weaken the Warden (kill Master of Thralls?), and since I teleported right to him, this wasn’t done.

    I was surprised that the Warden and company have capabilities way beyond what one might expect to face in Chapter 2. He instantly summons a Fallen Planetar, etc. I expect this from a ToB opponent, but it seems early to be faced with something like this. At this point in the game, SI, PfmW, Death Wards, elemental protections, and magical energy protections are available, but scarce, so a planetar with ~700hp, -19AC, 5 vorpal attacks/round with on-hit dispels can wear down a well-prepared party once key buffs expire in a conventional (cheese-free) battle.

    Before I proceed to deal with this encounter with increasingly intricate, and if necessary, cheesy tactics, I’m curious if this battle is truly representative of what we can expect at this xp level. Is weakening the Warden mandatory for transforming this into a level-appropriate encounter? I also wonder if I triggered some sort of bug due to messing around with 8 million xp parties earlier and had the Warden encounter boosted to the level of a different party.

    Please let me know of another encounter for a 1.5 mil xp party. I hope to teleport directly to the area and not have it gated by any plot events.

    Edit: not to put words in anyone’s mouth, but is Guarded Compound, Upstairs (AR0907) a good, level-appropriate fight? Enemies are Sion (14th-level Abjurer), Stalman (16th-level Cleric), Koshi (16th-level Kensai), an Orog named Olaf Rassmusen (17th-level Fighter), a Minotaur named Maferan (17th-level Fighter), and Ketta (19th-level Thief). They out-level my party, but IIRC, this is a chapter 2 encounter.

  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    I am looking for a challenging BG2 encounter to test out a party with 1.5 million xp. I haven’t played EE yet, but I seem to recall that the party has access to almost everything in chapter 2 based on my experience with vanilla many years ago. The idea is to use a custom party with level-appropriate equipment, spells, etc. from EE Keeper and teleport them via console to an encounter of choice.

    I had trouble finding a good encounter and finally stumbled into AR0516 – Planar Prison. I was faced with a Warden and multiple mages, etc. The number and diversity of opponents suggested that this is a good encounter and, IIRC, it’s normally done in chapter 2. Unfortunately, I also seem to recall that there was something plot-related that had to be done to weaken the Warden (kill Master of Thralls?), and since I teleported right to him, this wasn’t done.

    I was surprised that the Warden and company have capabilities way beyond what one might expect to face in Chapter 2. He instantly summons a Fallen Planetar, etc. I expect this from a ToB opponent, but it seems early to be faced with something like this. At this point in the game, SI, PfmW, Death Wards, elemental protections, and magical energy protections are available, but scarce, so a planetar with ~700hp, -19AC, 5 vorpal attacks/round with on-hit dispels can wear down a well-prepared party once key buffs expire in a conventional (cheese-free) battle.

    Before I proceed to deal with this encounter with increasingly intricate, and if necessary, cheesy tactics, I’m curious if this battle is truly representative of what we can expect at this xp level. Is weakening the Warden mandatory for transforming this into a level-appropriate encounter? I also wonder if I triggered some sort of bug due to messing around with 8 million xp parties earlier and had the Warden encounter boosted to the level of a different party.

    Please let me know of another encounter for a 1.5 mil xp party. I hope to teleport directly to the area and not have it gated by any plot events.

  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    edited October 9
    I am looking for a challenging BG2 encounter to test out a party with 1.5 million xp. I haven’t played EE yet, but I seem to recall that the party has access to almost everything in chapter 2 based on my experience with vanilla many years ago. The idea is to use a custom party with level-appropriate equipment, spells, etc. from EE Keeper and teleport them via console to an encounter of choice.

    I had trouble finding a good encounter and finally stumbled into AR0516 – Planar Prison. I was faced with a Warden and multiple mages, etc. The number and diversity of opponents suggested that this is a good encounter and, IIRC, it’s normally done in chapter 2. Unfortunately, I also seem to recall that there was something plot-related that had to be done to weaken the Warden (kill Master of Thralls?), and since I teleported right to him, this wasn’t done.

    I was surprised that the Warden and company have capabilities way beyond what one might expect to face in Chapter 2. He instantly summons a Fallen Planetar, etc. I expect this from a ToB opponent, but it seems early to be faced with something like this. At this point in the game, SI, PfmW, Death Wards, elemental protections, and magical energy protections are available, but scarce, so a planetar with ~700hp, -19AC, 5 vorpal attacks/round with on-hit dispels can wear down a well-prepared party once key buffs expire in a conventional (cheese-free) battle.

    Before I proceed to deal with this encounter with increasingly intricate, and if necessary, cheesy tactics, I’m curious if this battle is truly representative of what we can expect at this xp level. Is weakening the Warden mandatory for transforming this into a level-appropriate encounter? I also wonder if I triggered some sort of bug due to messing around with 8 million xp parties earlier and had the Warden encounter boosted to the level of a different party.

    Please let me know of another encounter for a 1.5 mil xp party. I hope to teleport directly to the area and not have it gated by any plot events.

    Edit: not to put words in anyone’s mouth, but is Guarded Compound, Upstairs (AR0907) a good, level-appropriate fight? Enemies are Sion (14th-level Abjurer), Stalman (16th-level Cleric), Koshi (16th-level Kensai), an Orog named Olaf Rassmusen (17th-level Fighter), a Minotaur named Maferan (17th-level Fighter), and Ketta (19th-level Thief). They out-level my party, but IIRC, this is a chapter 2 encounter.

    Post edited by hugin7 on
  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    Hmm, either my installation is bugged or the +12 level adjustment in LoB is affecting more checks than advertised. Based on comments elsewhere, I was under the impression that levels affect things like dispels, but not THAC0 and abilities. The group I mentioned at the bottom of my last post is 12 levels higher than listed and it appears that their stats and abilities are affected.

    For example, Koshi has 356 hp, -17 AC, 6 attacks, and -21 THAC0. These are stats fit for a lvl 28 Kensai, not lvl 16. Stalman is able and willing to summon a Fallen Planetar, etc. Is this really normal? Even cheese options are limited for this encounter, since it’s triggered after entering a room (no pre-summoning) and the exit is blocked once you enter. You’re stuck going toe-to-toe with hasted opponents in a small area, so kiting and hit/run tactics are limited.

    According to this walkthrough, the encounter was done at 650k xp: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/pc/663934-baldurs-gate-ii-enhanced-edition/faqs/68513. This was pre-SoD, so one could easy tack on another ~500k xp, but either way, it seems plausible for a 1.5 mil xp party. Are SCS + LoB players leaving it for later? If so, what’s a truly legitimate test at this level?
    hugin7 wrote: »
    I am looking for a challenging BG2 encounter to test out a party with 1.5 million xp. I haven’t played EE yet, but I seem to recall that the party has access to almost everything in chapter 2 based on my experience with vanilla many years ago. The idea is to use a custom party with level-appropriate equipment, spells, etc. from EE Keeper and teleport them via console to an encounter of choice.

    I had trouble finding a good encounter and finally stumbled into AR0516 – Planar Prison. I was faced with a Warden and multiple mages, etc. The number and diversity of opponents suggested that this is a good encounter and, IIRC, it’s normally done in chapter 2. Unfortunately, I also seem to recall that there was something plot-related that had to be done to weaken the Warden (kill Master of Thralls?), and since I teleported right to him, this wasn’t done.

    I was surprised that the Warden and company have capabilities way beyond what one might expect to face in Chapter 2. He instantly summons a Fallen Planetar, etc. I expect this from a ToB opponent, but it seems early to be faced with something like this. At this point in the game, SI, PfmW, Death Wards, elemental protections, and magical energy protections are available, but scarce, so a planetar with ~700hp, -19AC, 5 vorpal attacks/round with on-hit dispels can wear down a well-prepared party once key buffs expire in a conventional (cheese-free) battle.

    Before I proceed to deal with this encounter with increasingly intricate, and if necessary, cheesy tactics, I’m curious if this battle is truly representative of what we can expect at this xp level. Is weakening the Warden mandatory for transforming this into a level-appropriate encounter? I also wonder if I triggered some sort of bug due to messing around with 8 million xp parties earlier and had the Warden encounter boosted to the level of a different party.

    Please let me know of another encounter for a 1.5 mil xp party. I hope to teleport directly to the area and not have it gated by any plot events.

    Edit: not to put words in anyone’s mouth, but is Guarded Compound, Upstairs (AR0907) a good, level-appropriate fight? Enemies are Sion (14th-level Abjurer), Stalman (16th-level Cleric), Koshi (16th-level Kensai), an Orog named Olaf Rassmusen (17th-level Fighter), a Minotaur named Maferan (17th-level Fighter), and Ketta (19th-level Thief). They out-level my party, but IIRC, this is a chapter 2 encounter.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,692
    @hugin7: First, it's possible that CTRL-Q is altering their stats in some way, since non-player critters don't necessarily get the same level-based abilities by default. For example, level drain will lower the player's saving throws, but not those of enemies. Backstabs, though, do scale with levels, so all enemy thieves in LoB mode will backstab at 5x, aside from one or two Shadowdancers in SoD.

    Second, part of the issue may be SCS. Stalman, the cleric, has never been able to use Summon Fallen Deva in any of my installs, while Sion, the mage, has used Summon Fallen Planetar many times. To my knowledge, Sion has always been level 18 or higher.

    Neither SCS nor the vanilla game give any critters a different spell selection due to difficulty. Only in SoD do enemies use different spells and abilities on higher difficulties. SCS spellcasters in v32 do cast pre-buffs differently at higher difficulty levels, but setting the difficulty to LoB mode will never, for example, make a level 10-ish mage like Davaeorn or Mekrath cast Time Stop or Horrid Wilting.

    LoB changes their caster level; not their spellbooks. Some other factor is influencing your experiences in these fights--it's not LoB mode itself.

    To answer your question, both of those fights are okay for a 1.5 million XP party in normal mode, but they would be incredibly unsafe in LoB mode. In my no-reload runs, I generally wouldn't tackle the Planar Prison until the tail end of Chapter 2 at earliest, and I wouldn't mess with the Guarded Compound until after Spellhold.

    hugin7MyragStummvonBordwehr
  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    @semiticgod: Thank you for your feedback. Sorry, it was indeed Sion who dropped the planetar. Knowing that the enemy abilities are are not out of place puts things in perspective; looks like encounter order becomes important on SCS + LoB, even with a full party and reloads.

    That said, what’s a better encounter to evaluate a 1.5 mil XP party? I distinctly remember doing Den of the Seven Vales (https://baldursgate.fandom.com/wiki/Den_of_the_Seven_Vales) – Pooky, Sorcerous Amon, etc. shortly after exiting Irenicus’ dungeon, though even these guys would be lvl 20-26 in my installation. I haven’t tested it yet, but it would be hilarious to run into HLAs during the first signature party vs. party encounter in the game.

    Also, can you please refresh my memory on how much XP/character is attainable by a full completionist party at the end of chapter 2?
    semiticgod wrote: »
    @hugin7: First, it's possible that CTRL-Q is altering their stats in some way, since non-player critters don't necessarily get the same level-based abilities by default. For example, level drain will lower the player's saving throws, but not those of enemies. Backstabs, though, do scale with levels, so all enemy thieves in LoB mode will backstab at 5x, aside from one or two Shadowdancers in SoD.

    Second, part of the issue may be SCS. Stalman, the cleric, has never been able to use Summon Fallen Deva in any of my installs, while Sion, the mage, has used Summon Fallen Planetar many times. To my knowledge, Sion has always been level 18 or higher.

    Neither SCS nor the vanilla game give any critters a different spell selection due to difficulty. Only in SoD do enemies use different spells and abilities on higher difficulties. SCS spellcasters in v32 do cast pre-buffs differently at higher difficulty levels, but setting the difficulty to LoB mode will never, for example, make a level 10-ish mage like Davaeorn or Mekrath cast Time Stop or Horrid Wilting.

    LoB changes their caster level; not their spellbooks. Some other factor is influencing your experiences in these fights--it's not LoB mode itself.

    To answer your question, both of those fights are okay for a 1.5 million XP party in normal mode, but they would be incredibly unsafe in LoB mode. In my no-reload runs, I generally wouldn't tackle the Planar Prison until the tail end of Chapter 2 at earliest, and I wouldn't mess with the Guarded Compound until after Spellhold.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,692
    @hugin7: In my runs, a completionist party of 6 can expect to just barely hit 3 million XP by the final fight of SoA, or be slightly short of 3 million XP if you skip just a few things. If you go past the first floor of Watcher's Keep, you can get well beyond that.

    gorgonzolaJuliusBorisov
  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    @semiticgod: Thank you. Finally found some time for a legitimate test and had an easy time with Pooky and friends, though I question whether this encounter is a true test for a 1.5 mil XP party.

  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    @semiticgod: Thanks again for your feedback regarding CTRL-Q. Pity that it’s not 100% reliable.

    I finally tested the Guarded Compound at 1.5 million XP and it is not troublesome with the right party composition and tactics. I didn’t have to rely on any consumables, charged items, or anything outside of the kits available to my party members. Kiting or any other cheese wasn’t needed. One of the main keys for a smooth encounter is to have access to Ruby Ray and quickly shut down Sion’s casting, which is available to a sorcerer right at 1.5 mil XP, though there are a few alternatives…

    I agree that this encounter is volatile for no-reloaders at this XP level. I haven’t played BG2 in nearly 2 decades, let alone EE + SCS + LoB, so I’m not taking that route (yet?) – kudos to those who pull it off. The encounter provided the diverse, high-level opposition that I was looking for to optimize party composition for my actual game and knock off rust. :)

    gorgonzola
  • hugin7hugin7 Member Posts: 15
    edited October 16
    Please remove.

    Post edited by hugin7 on
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