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Party of how many people do you find the most difficult to play in a no-reload/min-reload runs?

JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,144
While discussing the ins and outs of playing a no-reload game with a group here: the question arose about whether the amount of your party members affects the success of your survival and if yes, what particular size do you find the most difficult for you to manage in order not to fail.

Let's see.
  1. Party of how many people do you find the most difficult to play in a no-reload/min-reload runs?30 votes
    1. 1 (a solo play)
    2. 2
    3. 3
    4. 4
    5. 5
    6. 6
    7. It doesn't matter
    8. I'm not interested/don't play no-reload/min-reload runs


  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,455
    Well, I would have to try them all first, wouldn't I?
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  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    edited March 2015
    I think it really depends on your skill level, difficulty, and any roleplay restrictions you might play with.

    For a beginner (not necessarily first timer) playing on Normal or easier (where you don't need to worry about permanent death), a full party is easier than smaller parties or solo games because more party members = more options and more solutions, and consequently more room for error.

    If you play with limited Rest rules, as I do, a full party is easier than smaller ones because I have a bigger pool of spells and abilities to use per day before I am left just swinging away with a melee weapon or shooting with a bow.

    However, once you are an experienced player and can efficiently and effective metagame your way through the game, smaller parties are easier to manage because they have less variables and less chance of something going wrong. (Like a companion suffering permadeath, and wasting all the experience you've invested into them).

    Oh yea and of course the difficulty of smaller parties decreases significantly if you metagame more and farm exp to hit the level cap asap. For example in BG1 I know a common strategy is to farm Ankhegs and Basilisks. Clearly heading into the Nashkel Mines would be a very different experience if you were level 2 compared to lv8.
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,483
    edited March 2015
    @subtledoctor: While there is truth in what you're saying, I do think two things should be noted.

    Okay, but still that's *almost* double the XP. Except, with the game's level advancement, "almost double XP" only means a single extra level.

    This applies to BG1, but not to BG2 where level advancement is lineair rather than exponential.

    Okay, but with a 3-man group they'll probably be multiclass, right? And here's where the lack of Quest XP really hurts, because these MC guys will be the same or *lower* level in each class, compared to a full party.

    This is holds true for full parties containing single class characters, but there are plenty of multiclass NPCs that people may want to take along in a full party. The above does not apply to them.
  • hisplshispls Member Posts: 166

    Okay, but with a 3-man group they'll probably be multiclass, right? And here's where the lack of Quest XP really hurts, because these MC guys will be the same or *lower* level in each class, compared to a full party. So now the choice is between 6 members at 5th level, or 3 MC characters who are 5/5 or 5/4. The full party has twice the total hit points, twice the number of abilities or actions that can be used in any given round, twice the number of swords to hack away with.... etc.

    I would suggest that the RIGHT trio would do just fine... if one were to generate all 3 specifically to face the challenges ahead. The source of the trio dilemma was someone trying to get through Durlag's Tower without a thief. Pretty much BG1 in general will really punish you if you don't have the ability to deal with traps.

    This is where you would most get the drawback from lower level and yet lack the utility to deal with things. While I can't bother to try the game solo (NPCs are most of my fun) it seems that collecting and stacking unique items on your single character is what really makes solo "easy" far more so than the XP curve, which as others pointed out can be easily dealt with by farming.
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  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    edited March 2015
    @subtledoctor @Blackraven: I have just examined the XPLEVEL.2da table.

    For levels below 10 or so, you get an extra level by doubling your XP, on average. For higher levels, you only need 50% more XP or less.

    This means that for BG1, the 3-person group would likely have the hardest time, since it gains one level and has half the total members. For BG2, the 4-person group would probably be the weakest, as it has the same problem the 3-person group has in BG1. The 3-person group in BG2 would have about 2 extra levels on average. In TOB, it would have 3 or 4 extra levels on average, so it will have a distinct edge over the four-person group.

    --Three people in BG1 only get one extra level. So they're likely the worst for BG1.

    --Four people in BG2, with TOB installed, only get one extra level. So they're likely the worst for BG2.

    --One party member in SoA, WITHOUT TOB installed, maxes out their levels. So they're likely the worst for pre-TOB SoA.

    --One party member in TOB maxes out their levels. So they're likely the worst for TOB.

    My vote is based only on XP. But there are other factors.

    As for party makeup... You can split classes to cover most any role, unless you're playing solo (there are no Fighter/Mage/Cleric/Thieves). So any party of more than one can have enough thief power, enough Mage power, etc. but the littler parties will have more difficulty doing so. This means the advantage goes slightly towards the bigger groups.

    There are enough items to keep a whole party well-equipped, but a smaller party would have to sell off some them. You can say concentrating all the big items on one person can make them unkillable, but then, you can still do that in a party of six... And few people ever do that, because they know the items are better off spread around. So that also works to the favor of larger parties.

    Aside from SoA with TOB installed--in which you can use HLAs against enemies designed for parties without them--I'd say solo characters have it hardest. Sure, they have maybe 50% more levels than the average group member, but they get hit by six times as many attacks, have to make six times as many saves, have 1/6 of a party's APR, 1/6 of a party's spells per round, 1/6 of a party's scrolls, wands, and potions per round, cannot dip into more than three classes, can't use all of the items in the game, can't memorize all the spells in the game, are easier for enemies to box in, and, because it has no one to help it out in case things go wrong, it will be hurt far more by bad luck than a full group.

    Levels give exponential benefit. But a solo character with six times the XP (which it does not get, thanks to quest XP) does not quite end up with six times the power, and it doesn't get anywhere near six times the durability, of the average character.

    And your main character--the one person in your group you can never allow to die--is the only tank you will ever have, besides the summons that are almost always weaker than any party member. Basically all disablers are instant death. You can get negative saves, but so can Charnames in a group, and the group Charnames don't actually HAVE to.

    I just played a no-reload SCS run of a solo Archer. And I'm halfway through a no-reload SCS run of a group full of Archers. What has it shown?

    Solo Archers suck. I barely scraped through every encounter. But the group of Archers has been massacring everything.
    [Deleted User]BlackravenJuliusBorisovkcwise
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,870
    Personally, I find that having 0 people in a party to be the most difficult way of playing no-reload/min-reload runs. Even the Narrator dies of boredom in such playthroughs...
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    In my opinion, the more characters in the group, the harder it becomes, but this is because I am assuming something which I think is really important, that is you are actually playing with the NPCs from the game.
    Which means you only create yourself one character.
    If this is the case, then I definitely think it becomes harder the more characters there are.

    But if you are playing with a party created entirely by yourself, then I think the difference becomes less noticable and I would agree with @bengoshi that it depends only on your own skill.
  • Jaheiras_WitnessJaheiras_Witness Member Posts: 614
    Depends. Vanilla game solo is more difficult, even 1 NPC helps in case of charm / maze etc. That said, even solo is easy if you know what you're doing and prepare properly for each encounter.

    With SCS it's a different story. In that case smaller parties are easier, since enemies go after your weakest link and it's difficult babysitting your non-warriors. Solo might in fact be easiest since the key is to protect yourself as completely as possible from enemy attacks. Defence and protections trump everything else with SCS no reload. 2 or 3 member parties are also good as there is a surfeit of equipment that one character cannot properly utilise. Even so, better ensure that non-warriors are fully protected or invisible at all times.
  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635
    The only thought of micromanaging 6 characters is unbearbable for me.
    @semiticgod, when you say that having 6 times more xp does not make you 6 times more powerful, I have to disagree in some cases: at 3mxp, a sorc is 10 times more powerful than a group of 6 each of them with 1mxp.
    This do agree with you for other classes though
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    Perhaps for sorcerers, yes. If you're playing SoA, with TOB installed, and can therefore get HLAs. That's the exception I mentioned in my post... You must have missed that part. In BG1, of course, you're not hitting 3 million XP for a solo character. Neither will you reach that in SoA, if you don't have TOB. And if you're in TOB? Well, your characters aren't going to have only 1 million XP. Even if you start a new game in TOB, you'll have over 2.5 million XP per character. So the only point at which you would have 1 million XP for a group, but 3 million XP for a solo, is in SoA with TOB installed. That's the exception.
  • mumumomomumumomo Member Posts: 635
    you're right, it's the only exception but it's a big one : with the EE, TOB is installed by default, which changes the cap automatically and makes SOA a breeze for solo characters (SOA is not balanced for HLA)

    I made a run the other day with limiting my sorcerer to the original cap and it was a little bit harder but not that much.
  • kcwisekcwise Member Posts: 2,287
    Six characters, but only one of them does the work while the rest hide and refuse to contribute or carry anything.
  • CaeriaCaeria Member Posts: 201
    To me, it doesn't matter. Any combination (or solo) of characters poses its own type of challenge.
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