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The Nightmare Mode (Legacy of Bhaal) Thread

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  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    Sadly anything involving THAC0 gets wild real fast because it's difficult to average out. It could be virtually useless against weak targets, and super good against strong targets. Tough to put that on an easy metric for comparison.

    semiticgod
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,621
    true, but i would say that the strong targets are the real problem so even if it is not possible to do the math as it have to take in account both your thac0 before the buff, for each character affected by the song and the ac of the enemy, and every enemy may have a different one, i would say that hitting often the strong enemies is always an advantage as makes your party apr more effective, and if you would have hit anyway often the weak ones also without the buff does not matter as they are not the real problem.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    edited May 12
    Will better THAC0 be better against stronger enemies? Sure. But that wasn't the question.

    It's not about "is this going to be an advantage?" so much as it about "HOW MUCH of an advantage will this be?" - and that's where we get the problems.

    You can eyeball it reasonably well, but I'd be hard-pressed to definitively decide edge cases without a lot of work involved.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 14,376
    A THAC0 bonus is usually better than a damage bonus, and that's especially true for v2.5, when LoB mode also gives enemies -11 AC. As far as numbers go, any given fighter is probably going to deal, what, 10 damage per hit at the start of the game, when the song gives +2 to damage? That's a 20% bonus to damage for every fighter in the group. Later in the saga, fighters will deal more like 20 damage per hit, but the song will increase to +4, so the boost is pretty much the same. Adding a Skald is basically always a good idea, at least for the purposes of damage output. For each number of fighters in a group:

    1 fighter: adding a Skald gives +20%; an extra fighter instead gives +100%
    2 fighters: adding a Skald gives +40%; an extra fighter instead gives +50%
    3 fighters: adding a Skald gives +60%; an extra fighter instead gives +33%
    4 fighters: adding a Skald gives +80%; an extra fighter instead gives +25%
    5 fighters: adding a Skald gives +100%; an extra fighter instead gives +20%

    Granted, highly-optimized parties can manage more than 10 or 20 damage per hit when the bard song is at +2 and +4, but the above doesn't factor in the AC or THAC0 bonuses, which swing the advantage further in favor of a Skald. Once you have 3 decent fighters, the balance should heavily favor a Skald rather than a 4th fighter. There are still other factors, of course: a Skald is not as strong of a tank as certain other fighter builds are (like a Dwarven Defender or Fighter/Illusionist), and multi-classed fighters can fulfill other roles the Skald cannot. Also, the Skald's song can involve a little micromanagement in the sense that its song has limited reach.

    Personally, though, I don't like using Skalds. I find them uninteresting, even though I consider them very excellent characters, especially for LoB mode.

    gorgonzola
  • deratiseurderatiseur Member Posts: 129
    edited July 17

    #3 is of course the most glaring. While I agree magic in general is a bit too strong in BG2, that doesn't really hold for DAMAGE magic. The powerful spells are rarely those that just deal damage; they're things like buffs, debuffs, etc. (Stoneskin, PfMW, Improved Haste, you name it). Making damage spells even WEAKER is perhaps not such a great thing, but as we have already discussed the issue in IWD, there is no easy solution to this. Furthermore, BG2 tends to have less enemy numbers, meaning AoE scaling doesn't even redeem spells to the degree that it can in IWD (which has hordes upon hordes of enemies around every corner). Honestly don't know how to deal with this.

    Simple : in IWD, spell level cap is 30, not 20. In BG2, you can increased the spell lvl to 40. (the monsters use the vanilla spells, so that will boost mages/liches too ^^)

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    deratiseur wrote: »
    Simple : in IWD, spell level cap is 30, not 20. In BG2, you can increased the spell lvl to 40. (the monsters use the vanilla spells, so that will boost mages/liches too ^^)
    I don't think that's a good idea for LoB. I'm not in the mood to get oneshot by basically any enemy damage spell.

  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 292
    edited September 12
    LOB/SCS is not one-dimensional, while damage per round is surely very important it's not the only thing that matters.

    For Example besides the damage what Skald does it
    • Bard hat allows to perform actions (2 out of every 3 rounds) without loosing song buff. This is pretty big and opens a lot of possibilites of using bard like a normal caster for half of SoD and most of BG2/TOB. If you are attempting difficult fights then using scrolls with UAI makes skald even more powerful. (example is improved ust natha)
    • Casts high level spells (ex. Remove Magic starts to work around underdark as skald outlevels enemies even on LoB)
    • Dispels Confusion with Tangled Strings (everything is fine and dandy until your machine-gun archer starts nuking your party with 10APR so this is great)
    • Dispels Hold from others (Methild's harp) while being immune to Hold (Arbane's sword). No more difficulties with those pesky demons.
    • CC's with harp of Pandemonium
    • 4AC is useless in ToB but still nice for most of the game
    • Epic bard song - 10% magic resistance.. a little beneficial roulette
    • Epic bard song - Stun, fear and confusion immunity later on

    In general I agree with the premise. Because of ridicolous LoB -11AC Thac0 is crazy strong. Big 5 all have between -10 to -25 AC so every point matters. Hitting also applies on-hit weapon effects which often provide extra benefits like lowering thaco, lowering ac, lowering MR, healing, pure damage, etc. 4 Thac0 bonus means 20% extra hit chance which is super big. So for that reason skald alone is worth it, but when you add mentioned benefits it's surely puts it on the top. Let's not forget the buff also works on summons so potential 5+ more units get the buff.

    Most of my parties are 3 melee fighters (fmt, f/illusionist, fmc vartiations), and 1 ranged (typically archer or throwing kensai) so 4 characters with benefit plus high level spells are nothing to sneeze at.

    The only thing that from powergamer perspective would be a decision whether they should go Skald or invest in late game power and go with something like Blade so they can get Defensive/Offensive spin while having the same song with the same power. In the end skald is the worst of all bard types after Epic Song. So the only question is do you want smoother curve or better power spike. For me smoother curve is better.

    Post edited by Myrag on
    Grond0
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    Myrag wrote: »
    So the only question is do you want smoother curve or better power spike. For me smoother curve is better.
    Basically my thinking as well. In fact, early/mid SoA to me is often harder than some of the endgame stuff simply because you have less tools at your disposal. And the other Bard kits' benefits are kind of eh in my book anyway.

  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 292
    Myrag wrote: »
    So the only question is do you want smoother curve or better power spike. For me smoother curve is better.
    Basically my thinking as well. In fact, early/mid SoA to me is often harder than some of the endgame stuff simply because you have less tools at your disposal. And the other Bard kits' benefits are kind of eh in my book anyway.

    Agreed. Recently I thought about dropping my Sorcerer as it completely destroys the challange after HLAs... but the longer I think about it, HLAs destroy the challange for pretty much any class
    1. FMT - time traps with UAI and you hack and slash with backstab and assassination for 150+ damage per slash for god knows how many rounds, even BIG 5 is not immune to time traps
    2. Skald - lots of options here but Spike Traps destroy a lot of challanges (I never take them as they as the worst designed skill in the game, just hate them personally)
    3. F/M - time stops, BBOD, critical strikes, occassional GWW
    4. Archer - Critical Strikes, Smite, Power Attack - all are insane at 10 APR simply puts most fights on easy mode
    5. Druid - Elemental Summoning and Greater Elemental Summoning are super strong even late game, princes last only few rounds which is a shame but I guess it's fair

    But even then. Most of above is great for cleaning 1 by 1, where as Sorcerer withproject image, contigencies, IA, Dragons Breaths, planetar and wishes this class breaks the game regardless of the difficulty by clearning entire screens of enemies in seconds. All of those spells are broken on it's own but when you combine them it's just next level of crazy ;)

    I also recently discovered that planetar can be improve hasted which for the longest time I thought it can't because of spell description saying it's already under improve haste effect. Which brings it to the next level of broken.

    All of those are things why I love this game anyway, it's totally stupid if you know it well :smile:

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    Those are definitely problems, which is why I limit myself artificially. I don't use any traps, summons, or contingencies at all. I also use the Spell Revisions (revised) mod alongside Item Revisions (revised) which puts a damper on things like Improved Haste that just do insane things. There's still a bunch of really strong stuff left after that, of course, but it's not quite as cheesy in my view. But that's personal preference, of course.

  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 292
    edited September 17
    @Lord_Tansheron I've went through spell revisions website at github.

    http://gibberlings3.github.io/SpellRevisions/spells/arcane

    I've checked specifically the spells that I would consider the most overpowered and besides the improved haste it feels like the biggest offenders are still overpowered.
    • Improved Alacrity - same spell only casting time from is longer by 1
    • Project image - seems the same
    • Dragon's breath - lowered damage but increased radius twofold (from 15y to 30y) and increased casting time to 5 from 1
    • Planetar - slightly nerfed but dark planetar seems as strong if not stronger due to spell choices
    • Spellstrike - buffed (adds spell failure with no MR)
    • Wish - no description so I assume remains unchanged
    • Spell Immunity - here is the only major nerf I could spot with it being replaced by dispelling screen

    But instead you get a lot of amazing new spells like dimension Jump as lvl 1 so your fighters can close gap quickly, project image jump into combat in miliseconds.

    While I base this post purely on the website I would be happy to share your thoughts. Am I missing anything here? As in general I feel it buffs overall arcane arsenal more than it nerfs it.

    Post edited by Myrag on
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    My view is biased of course because of my own restrictions (no Wish either, forgot to mention that; save for the quest wish of course because GONG), but overall I feel it's definitely tuned down. Not EVERYTHING was nerfed of course, but a good part of it was. I also play with HLA spells as specials not spells, so they can only be taken once; which puts a limitation on a lot of things when you can't chain multiple DB or IA.

    Is it a complete redistribution of power? No. Are casters still OP? Yes. That's the reality of BG2. But it's not AS egregious as it is unmodded, especially because of things like the Improved Haste change which makes you rethink a lot of class distributions.

  • MyragMyrag Member Posts: 292
    I think I'm sold :smile: I will give it a go.

    Do you tend to install SR with IWD spells component of SCS? I saw IWD spells bring some very strong spells into a party environment like Emotion spells.

    Reason why I poke around the topic is purely from standpoint of making things too easy :smile:

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    I have not tested the IWD spells yet, but from what I remember from IWD they are absolutely nutso strong :P

    Not sure that's what I'm interested in. I don't have a lot of time to play so testing them will have to wait.

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