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Solo Monk - Is it viable and/or fun?

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  • ShinShin Member Posts: 2,345
    As mentioned earlier in this thread, the monk changes brought about by the oversight mod (monk overhaul mod for the EEs) give the class a fair bit more and somewhat unique versatility with new HLAs: knockbacks, aoe attack, magical protection stripper, time stop immunity and physical damage resistance, to name a few. They're based off Balthazar's ascension abilities, but they do a lot to make the monk stand out as its own class rather than a rush job with fighter HLAs.

    There's also a component in the overhaul mod to adjust/improve the progression of monk fists. Given how easy it is to find powerful magical weapons in the BG games, it never seemed to make sense to have the monks progress so slowly.
    JuliusBorisovMusigny
  • MalacPokMalacPok Member Posts: 96
    Truth be told, the standard game's HLAs direly lack diversity and too often ignore the unique "flavor" of many classes and kits. When I started playing with the monk, I kind of expected to get those nice abilities Balthazar has. Not so much luck.

    In other cases the situation is even worse>
    - the Bounty Hunter's special traps get overshadowed by the all powerful spike traps every thief or bard can have.
    - by picking the Improved Bard Song the Jester loses all of his uniqueness.
    - all druid kits have special abilities that don't scale well towards ToB. The totemic druid's spirit animals never improve, the shapeshifter's Werewolf form turns obsolete, etc.

    Even the difference between clerics and druids is reduced by giving them almost the same HLAs. You start out with a lot of differently specialized classes and end up with essentially 4: fighter, mage, thief & cleric\druid.
    JuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 22,515
    MalacPok said:

    Truth be told, the standard game's HLAs direly lack diversity and too often ignore the unique "flavor" of many classes and kits. When I started playing with the monk, I kind of expected to get those nice abilities Balthazar has. Not so much luck.

    In other cases the situation is even worse>
    - the Bounty Hunter's special traps get overshadowed by the all powerful spike traps every thief or bard can have.
    - by picking the Improved Bard Song the Jester loses all of his uniqueness.
    - all druid kits have special abilities that don't scale well towards ToB. The totemic druid's spirit animals never improve, the shapeshifter's Werewolf form turns obsolete, etc.

    Even the difference between clerics and druids is reduced by giving them almost the same HLAs. You start out with a lot of differently specialized classes and end up with essentially 4: fighter, mage, thief & cleric\druid.

    And only Shadowdancer's HLAs feel different. And this is a nice addition.
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,592
    I was really disappointed that Sun soul monk didn't get Balthazar Solar Stance and Dark Moon Balthazar's Moon Stance indeed.

    And I have always disagreed with that improved bard song. Ruins Jester uniqueness, render Skald useless post HLA (that song is an improved Skald song) and makes Blade OP because their sole disadvantage was filled by that HLA
  • YannirYannir Member Posts: 595
    Arunsun said:

    makes Blade OP because their sole disadvantage was filled by that HLA

    I'd say not reaching spells beyond lvl 6 is a rather big disadvantage. I don't think IBS makes Blades OP but they do get remarkably strong.
  • MalacPokMalacPok Member Posts: 96
    That's a matter of perspective. Having level 6 spells makes even the jester a decent fighter. He also gets UAI and spike traps. Soloing the game with it wasn't my hardest challenge ever.
  • YannirYannir Member Posts: 595
    MalacPok said:

    That's a matter of perspective. Having level 6 spells makes even the jester a decent fighter. He also gets UAI and spike traps. Soloing the game with it wasn't my hardest challenge ever.

    Considering that lvl 6 spells include IH, PfMW and Tenser's, I'd say that's true with any arcane class. I didn't say bards are weak, just meant that they are definitely not overpowered either. A sorcerer, an inquisitor or a F/C is OP, bards are just strong.
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,592
    @Yannir post level 6 spells are caster-oriented rather than fighter-oriented. I mean, except that BBoD, you do not get any fighter spell.
    When you are level 6, you have IH, PfMW, Tenser, stoneskin, spell immunity, mirror image, etc... that is, all and any spell you might need as a fighter except BBoD.
    What I meant by OP was not that they were overwhelming compared to sorcerer for example. But Blade ARE much stronger than other bard kits, because they do not rely on their song to be unique, and in the end they just all get that improved bard song which is the best song overall, and the sole disadvantage of that kit compared to the other bard kits is thus filled once you reach HLA.
    Not to mention no other bard benefits as much as them from the Mislead/IBS combo.
    JuliusBorisov
  • YannirYannir Member Posts: 595
    @Arunsun I see your point. Although they would benefit from Spell Trigger and Spell Sequencer as well. And the various mantle-spells.
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,592
    @Yannir : Not too sure Sequencers are such a necessity. I mean, for most fights you are able to prepare yourself. Your spells last really long because you are a bard and thus you are very high level (compared to a mage with the same XP), and if the fight is going to be really, really long, you might as well use a spell sequencer scroll. But I cannot think of any such fight. Mantles are not really needed either, as PfMW will do if you need to cast, stoneskin, mirror image and possibly an adapted protection against an element (you have fire, electricity, acid, cold and magic available. Fire is 80% and is easily completed by batalista's passport or ring of fire control for example, or even that fire resistance you get in hell, electricity and acid are 100%. Cold and magic are 50%, you can complete the former with boots of protection against cold, and the latter with belt of innertial barrier. You can get Poison immunity with Gaxx ring) to face every single type of damage you might need to face. And all of these protections last one turn per level except for protection from fire. Just bring a spell immunity: abjuration or two and no one will be able to do anything to you.
  • MalacPokMalacPok Member Posts: 96
    For the few really hard encounters the bard can also use scrolls.
    semiticgoddessJuliusBorisov
  • YannirYannir Member Posts: 595
    Arunsun said:

    Not too sure Sequencers are such a necessity.

    Well ofc not. Neither is Stoneskin, or PfMW, or Spell Immunity. Or any other single spell. I can't name a single spell in this game that's absolutely necessary by itself. :smiley:
    semiticgoddess
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,592
    @Yannir : My point was that sequencers certainly are convenient, but everything that they do is a bonus. I mean, I could play a mage without sequencers. It would not be the best possible gameplay but it would still be quite easy.
    Just try making a solo mage playthrough without sequencers and contingencies. You might struggle a little for some fights but it will still be doable.
    Now try making a solo mage playthrough without stoneskin, PfMW, Mantles etc... I wish you good luck, you will need it.
    Taking figures randomly just to show the idea:
    You can play a mage at 90% of its potential using all spells except sequencers and contingencies. But not using Stoneskin etc... is more like using 30% of your potential

    Blade has all these EXTREMELY convenient spells. He could have had some extra little bit of convenience through sequencers indeed.
    JuliusBorisov
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @Arunsun: Those are awesome spells, and most mages rely on them heavily, but you can actually get by without those defensive spells just fine--luck is not needed to survive without them. @Alesia_BH has completed a no-reload run through ToB with a Transmuter. No PFMW or Mantles at all, though she still had Stoneskin. No spell protections or Spell Immunity, either. Or Spell Shield.

    And for what it's worth, even without Stoneskin OR PFMW, you still have Mirror Image. And if you don't object to it, you can stack Blur spells for very low AC. If the Wand of Lightning trick still works in BG2:EE, one casting can get you -18 AC and -6 to saving throws.

    And even if you don't do that, you can still avoid spell failure by reducing your casting time (the Robe of Vecna and the Amulet of Power make many spell instantaneous) or running away between spells, or invisibility, or summons. And scrolls are immune to casting failure, so you could also use those situationally.

    And if you rule out those? Just stack a couple of Teleport Field spells on the map, and every enemy will get teleported away every three seconds, enough to render any melee attacker almost completely harmless.

    A mage has 10 different ways of preventing damage and spell failure. Sequencers and contingencies, weapon immunity spells, and Stoneskin are only three of those methods.
    JuliusBorisov
  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    edited April 2015
    The thread derailed and crashed into a nearby village, setting the orphanage on fire.

    However, circling back to Monks - the main reason why people play monks, is that
    a) they are a bit different than Fighters and have that nice magic resistance.
    b) the real reason is, that you can walk up to any baddie in the game and PUNCH HIM IN HIS BLOODY FACE !!
    semiticgoddess
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,857
    Monk in BG2 is bad early, but not really terrible. You really need to use what you have access to; Stealth is very useful, and must be used religiously, especially early. DMM gets DI, which is superb for soloing. Stunning Fist and Quivering Palm are powerful tools if you reload freely. The biggest pain in BG2 is starting at 18 str, which is a bit infuriating; I loved the Belt of Inertial Barrier, and using an str belt blocks that. :neutral:

    Actually, using a monk kit might make monk less sanity violating. Do not solo BG1 with a monk unless you like games to feel like tedius work. Its the worst solo imho, and you're probably best off relying on throwing daggers. 2x 4.5 average damage is REALLY bad though, killing gibberlings is tedious as hell until you get a boost in str.

    And of course, Sarevok is VERY hard for a solo monk, he's unbeatable for a poverty solo monk I'm pretty sure. Actually, many poverty runs will not be able to beat Sarevok. It's almost like the Devs didn't intend us to solo he game with a deliberately nefed character!
    semiticgoddess
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    @Southpaw: For a moment, I actually forgot what the thread was about in the first place.
  • MalacPokMalacPok Member Posts: 96
    Southpaw said:

    The thread derailed and crashed into a nearby village, setting the orphanage on fire.

    However, circling back to Monks - the main reason why people play monks, is that
    a) they are a bit different than Fighters and have that nice magic resistance.
    b) the real reason is, that you can walk up to any baddie in the game and PUNCH HIM IN HIS BLOODY FACE !!

    While monks can turn into really powerful face-smashers, soloing them (especially for the first time) is a slightly uneasy experience compared to using spellcasters. A mage has literally dozens of methods for dealing with enemies, so you don't have to worry in *advance*, before that Big Battle. You'll figure something out. There's at least one spell that's almost specially designed for that encounter.

    However, when you run with the monk, you can never be sure that your fists will be enough or not. Despite your 100% MR every major ToB boss can easily disable you.
    semiticgoddess
  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,829
    MR isn't a complete fix. But there are almost no disablers that both bypass MR and offer no save, and a monk can still manage to have strong saving throws.
  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    MalacPok said:

    However, when you run with the monk, you can never be sure that your fists will be enough or not. Despite your 100% MR every major ToB boss can easily disable you.

    You have to have it in your heart and believe yourself. And then, you can be victorious.
    MalacPokGirewan
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,857
    Southpaw said:

    MalacPok said:

    However, when you run with the monk, you can never be sure that your fists will be enough or not. Despite your 100% MR every major ToB boss can easily disable you.

    You have to have it in your heart and believe yourself. And then, you can be victorious.
    ...unless your fists aren't magical enough, then you'd be ****ed.
  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    DreadKhan said:

    Southpaw said:

    MalacPok said:

    However, when you run with the monk, you can never be sure that your fists will be enough or not. Despite your 100% MR every major ToB boss can easily disable you.

    You have to have it in your heart and believe yourself. And then, you can be victorious.
    ...unless your fists aren't magical enough, then you'd be ****ed.
    That's what losers say and that ain't you!
    You are better than this!
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,438
    Rasaad is good enough when you first get him. Give him Belm for the off hand and see him punch. Problem is that solo is a completely different exercise. I guess you would be forced to the easier quests, use Green and priest scrolls and level up as best as you can before handling the big things.
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,592
    Iroumen: his thac0 is not so good at first, so dual wielding might not be that good
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 2,438
    I actually find that it is not bad at all. Plus you can buff his strength through magical means
  • MalacPokMalacPok Member Posts: 96
    Dual-wielding Belm (or the Scarlet Ninjato) does not give you the weapon's extra attack. You get exactly one extra bonus attack for every off-hand weapon. On higher levels, even with no proficiency in dual-wielding, Angurvadal or Spectral Brand leave you with a decent thac0 and some other useful things such as elemental damage to disrupt mages and level-drain immunity.

    image
    mnk.jpg 230.4K
  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,592
    @MalacPok to be accurate, yes it does add the extra attack, but APR caps at 5 without spells. A high level monk has a base 4APR but a lower level monk has less. At higher level I usually swap between DoE and a level drain immunity weapon when it is needed.
  • LongspursLongspurs Member Posts: 15
    If y'all don't mind can you give me the monk stats and roll number to shot for, thanks a lot.
  • LongspursLongspurs Member Posts: 15
    Sorry shoot for!
  • 17651765 Member Posts: 68
    edited December 2022
    @Longspurs , something like:
    18
    18
    18
    11 or 16
    min
    players choice

    Pips in the order: daggers (for throwing), Scimitars/Wakizashi/Ninja-to (for Scarlet brotherhood Ninja-to) longswords (for sword of balduran), flails (defender of easthaven) then wherever you might need them.
    Post edited by 1765 on
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