Skip to content

Whats your best powergaming party for this game?

1234568

Comments

  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    Wowo said:


    You missed the Fast Flail +2 on the creepy monks level?

    Monks? ... Priests? ... Dragon's Eye level 4? I don't think I missed any items. It could be a random drop.
    Wowo said:


    What two handed weapons are good?

    You've pointed out before that you don't like two-handed weapons, so turning it into a question is not a clever idea. There are mulitple +4 weapons one finds always that add to the very low THAC0 a normal multi-class F/M will reach later anyway. And a F/M is a more versatile fighter anyway because of ++ in multiple skills. No compelling reason to prefer dual-wlelding when there are six fighters in the party.
    Wowo said:


    Why vanilla fighter?

    The F9->M? Simply to go longbow++ early, which a Berserker cannot.
    Wowo said:


    Why club and s&s?

    For the +3 and +5 clubs. A F/D is fragile for a very long time and a very active caster, so I want the extra shield protection against ranged attacks ... and as it's a multi-class there are ++ to spend into other skills later.
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Merina said:

    Wowo said:


    You missed the Fast Flail +2 on the creepy monks level?

    Monks? ... Priests? ... Dragon's Eye level 4? I don't think I missed any items. It could be a random drop.
    Wowo said:


    What two handed weapons are good?

    You've pointed out before that you don't like two-handed weapons, so turning it into a question is not a clever idea. There are mulitple +4 weapons one finds always that add to the very low THAC0 a normal multi-class F/M will reach later anyway. And a F/M is a more versatile fighter anyway because of ++ in multiple skills. No compelling reason to prefer dual-wlelding when there are six fighters in the party.
    Wowo said:


    Why vanilla fighter?

    The F9->M? Simply to go longbow++ early, which a Berserker cannot.
    Wowo said:


    Why club and s&s?

    For the +3 and +5 clubs. A F/D is fragile for a very long time and a very active caster, so I want the extra shield protection against ranged attacks ... and as it's a multi-class there are ++ to spend into other skills later.

    I don't have any bias against 2 handed weapons it's just a huge damage deficit to be attacking at most 7 times per round (but more likely 5 unless you have the ring of reckless action) compared to the 9 or 10 attacks per round that a dual wielder has. Is the benefits of large weapons going to be the equivalent of adding almost 50% to damage output to equalise it to dual wielding? (Or double damage without the reckless action ring).

    Large weapons are great in BG where they have stronger enhancements and later on you get whirlwind attack. IWD not so much, I don't know of any large weapons that are better than the best single handed weapons nor can you access HLAs to equalise the APR difference.

    The fast flail is a random item yes but you can run to the chest quite easily and if it's not there reload from the autosave at presio's level and check again. It's a pretty crucial item to beef up a warrior/cleric character and is brutal when combined with Presio's Hammer Flail.

    Fair enough on the f/d. Some of the archers have ridiculously low thac0s and it can be tricky to keep them shooting irrelevant targets. I go for scimitar for a Druid straight up, the lucky scimitar is really nice. I might go grab that +5 club soon though as an offhand weapon.

  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    Let's not forget ... so far I only have found one extra attack weapon. One safe find will be the scimitar, and it's reserved for the Axes wielder. I haste him often anyway, because two clerics can remove the fatigue afterwards.

    A F/M also will need to compensate the -4 for offhand attacks. Either with the help of a Skald lvl15 or
    higher. Or only later in the game with higher THAC0. No Skald in this party.

    Going two-handed early with a F/M doesn't rule out going dual++ later. I like the longer range of a two-handed weapon for a F/M in a robe with no Stoneskin yet.

    I won't do save'n'reload to cheat when finding random loot. The random loot in IWDEE is one of the most important replayability factors for me. It's a bit of a poker game, too, as I don't choose Bastard Swords GM always. Or have the F/D skill Spear, Quarterstaff and two-handed.
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Merina said:

    Let's not forget ... so far I only have found one extra attack weapon. One safe find will be the scimitar, and it's reserved for the Axes wielder. I haste him often anyway, because two clerics can remove the fatigue afterwards.

    A F/M also will need to compensate the -4 for offhand attacks. Either with the help of a Skald lvl15 or
    higher. Or only later in the game with higher THAC0. No Skald in this party.

    Going two-handed early with a F/M doesn't rule out going dual++ later. I like the longer range of a two-handed weapon for a F/M in a robe with no Stoneskin yet.

    I won't do save'n'reload to cheat when finding random loot. The random loot in IWDEE is one of the most important replayability factors for me. It's a bit of a poker game, too, as I don't choose Bastard Swords GM always. Or have the F/D skill Spear, Quarterstaff and two-handed.

    Multi's can put 3 pips in TWF though I never bother to as enemy AC in IWD really doesn't get low enough to warrant it. Already it's rare that I see any misses pop up except on a 1 assuming a moderate level of buffing (though we have considerably different parties).

    I always give the fast scimitar to the Druid and let him combine it with the frozen scimitar for a good combination. This seems obvious to me. I give the action bastard sword to my axe wielder.

    Doing a no-reload or minimal reload run would lead me to a significantly different party. Sorcerer for one thing to cover any scrolls that mages fail to learn. Multi fighters instead of duals for a second unless guaranteed drops can be mapped out to warrant GM.

    I keep my FMT and IC on ranged weapons for this reason but by the time they have some AC gear, Shield, Blur and Mirror Image they are more than capable of mixing it up in melee at which point going two handed is lower DPS.

    Important thing to consider is the exact amount of fast weapons in the game:
    Long sword of Action +4
    Long sword of Action +4
    Fast Flail +2
    Fast Flail +2 (random)
    Valiant Scimitar +2
    Bastard Sword of Action +1 (random)

    In my party the LSoA both go to the FMT while the other 4 weapons are perfectly distributed to get everyone to 5 APR for the full 50 APR with IH and full 360 damage per round contribution from the Skald (in the best case scenario). Incidentally if i found a second Mislead Scroll I'd even consider trying to push the Skald into melee as a Sword Spider with his image singing to make the Skald the highest damage contributor besides the FMT.


    Klorox
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    That's an even higher amount of metagaming.

    Powergaming is possible already with just the information contained within the manuals. The details allow for the maths to be done ... for classes, attributes, skills, spells and party composition to be picked.

    Relying on specific weapons to be found is knowledge you can only get by completing the game at least once ... and possibly by manipulating random finds with reloading. Knowing that certain enemies absorb slashing damage more than crushing damage is metagaming knowledge. A good powergaming party is versatile enough and prepared for any ambush.

    I've mentioned somewhere else that scimitars are a fine choice for druids ... there's just the conflict with the druid being more active as a caster, weakening and damaging the enemies, supporting the front fighters, throwing pebbles with the various enchanted slings and waiting for the fighters to rotate.

    Conclusions? ... Not yet. First I want to compare the performance a bit more. That's not so easy as two sorcerers result in insane arcane power, and with this different party so far the time for the mages has yet to come with spell level 6.
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Merina said:

    That's an even higher amount of metagaming.

    Powergaming is possible already with just the information contained within the manuals. The details allow for the maths to be done ... for classes, attributes, skills, spells and party composition to be picked.

    Relying on specific weapons to be found is knowledge you can only get by completing the game at least once ... and possibly by manipulating random finds with reloading. Knowing that certain enemies absorb slashing damage more than crushing damage is metagaming knowledge. A good powergaming party is versatile enough and prepared for any ambush.

    I've mentioned somewhere else that scimitars are a fine choice for druids ... there's just the conflict with the druid being more active as a caster, weakening and damaging the enemies, supporting the front fighters, throwing pebbles with the various enchanted slings and waiting for the fighters to rotate.

    Conclusions? ... Not yet. First I want to compare the performance a bit more. That's not so easy as two sorcerers result in insane arcane power, and with this different party so far the time for the mages has yet to come with spell level 6.

    I was wondering about that very question myself as it isn't very efficient overall to replay encounters over and over to get the item that you want. To be fair most of the random items don't need any fighting to check if they're there but instead just an invisible run to the items location but in this case I was after the belt that gives 50% slashing resistance so I had to replay the encounter 5 odd times until I got it.

    Now that I have it though my Druid has 100% slash resist in beetle form so I dare say that it will be worth it in the long run.
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    Enforcing the dropping of random items like that also explains the low AC your heroes have already. A Kensai with AC -15? What equipment is that with? ... One doesn't find so many good items so early.
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Merina said:

    Enforcing the dropping of random items like that also explains the low AC your heroes have already. A Kensai with AC -15? What equipment is that with? ... One doesn't find so many good items so early.

    Not really.

    I think it's something like:
    AC 1 Spirit Armour
    AC -3 18 dex
    AC -5 kensei
    AC -7 Robe of Enfusing
    AC -9 Axe +2: Defender
    AC -12 Blur
    AC -14 Skald Song
    AC -15 Mantle of the Coming Storm
    AC -17 Protection from Evil 10ft

    No random items there (except that I have 2 enfusing robes due to a random drop).

    I've spent quite a lot of money on AC gear though like Enfusing Robe, Shimmering Sash, Rogue Cowl and Helm of the Trusted Defender. I also have the two +2 AC rings that can be PP'd. Finally, I have lots of spell slots dedicated to AC buffs even if they end up being redundant (as a defense against dispel).
    Merina
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    I thought you didn't include spell effects. :wink: That corrects the numbers a lot of course.

    Sure ... there are more spells to lower AC even if only for a few rounds ... some per caster only. Not forgetting spells that put more penalties on enemy attack rolls.

    Though, there are several competing spells in level 4: Emotion Hope, Emotion Courage, Impr.Inv, Spirit Armor, Stoneskin ... and several of the scrolls are not found before Severed Hand.

    About the items ... I would not have had the money to buy every good item so early and still buy scrolls and items in Lonelywood. After Severed Hand I'm just up to 58,000 gold again with a few items not sold yet. CHA 19 is the most my leader can get so far. That's different with a Skald and max'ed CHA and the Friends spell.

    Clearing Severed Hand has been easier and faster than with the two Sorcerers party. More impatient brute-force with buffed and hasted fighters. :sunglasses: Less waiting for area damage spells to do the job. For better comparison I should not have gone to Lonelywood, as that resulted in at least one extra level per hero ... but as much as the two sorcerers party has impressed me, more fighter power in the party is more reliable.
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @Merina my Skald casts the Spirit Armour and everyone has 2-3 Blur to last 20-30 rounds. The only real competition comes in trying to find slots if Strength and Cats Grace is required.

    Badge of Courage sorts out the first buff until the set of emotions turn up in Severed Hand.

    Having bought a --- hmm what was I saying? Oh that's right, having bought all that gear and scrolls for everyone I'm back to 50k gp ready to buy the wizardry ring or save for the disruption mace.

    Severed Hand seems easier than Dragon Eye, I'm just really disappointed that I missed out on one of the strength rings and had to give up a set of elven chain for the second. I certainly respect not reloading to get items but you miss out on some pretty game changing items that way.

  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    Reloading/retrying to influence the random items is a no-go for me.

    As a fan of playing with a wacky party, I enjoy the risk that comes from finding "wrong" items. Let's say I skill Flail and Mace and don't find a good Mace, ... so what? I may need to collect more gold and buy one, even if it may not be optimal.
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    Time for some conclusions after the no-sorcerer/no-skald HoF experiment with this party:

    Swashbuckler 5 -> Fighter
    Berserker 7 -> Cleric
    Berserker 9 -> Cleric
    Fighter 9 -> Mage
    Fighter/Mage
    Fighter/Druid

    1) One can dual the Swashbuckler at level 3, if one doesn't mind casting Knock with a Mage the very few times Openlocks 75 or brute force is not enough.

    2) The Fighter 9 -> Mage is not a Berserker, because a Mage doesn't need Rage ... and longbow++ is interesting and helpful early.

    3) The Fighter/Mage is to get access to arcane spells faster and to improve THAC0 compared with the dual Fi->Ma. Base THAC0 4 vs. 12 at end of Fallen Temple. Add to that the option to become specialized with multiple weapons.

    4) Scrolls really are scarce in the main game. Both the mages in this party are ahead with empty spell slots because of scrolls for that spell level. And ... I found only one Stoneskin scroll in the main game. With three Mages one would need to specialize extremely. Two Mages is more than enough ... especially with Edion's Ring of Wizardry.

    5) One of the clerics duals earlier to become more of a supporter than a front fighter. Later on it doesn't matter much, and rotating the two clerics is not uncommon.

    6) The Fighter/Druid's role is a bit of everything. Area damage spells early, summon allies early ... at the beginning, the primary healer during combat and major pebble thrower. Later: everything and helping where useful.

    7) The party has been strong enough to clear AR8012 without resting ... without many allies ... and with all six doing more fighting than casting and mostly reacting to whatever attackers approached.

    8) The short trip to Lonelywood and Burial Isle before Severed Hand has been an interesting experience, but I advise against doing that so early ... unless one absolutely is in need of additional scrolls or specific items. The encounters from Drowned Dead, Barrow Wights and respawing enemies have been much more intense than anything else so far. Perhaps Burial Isle is a great example where a level 15 or higher Skald could make a difference. I dunno ... I'm lacking the numbers (but will probably give it a try with an even different party to accompany a Skald).

    *) Compared with a Skald-less two Sorcerers (= one Dragon Disciple + one Sorcerer) party, I think this party is much more versatile and more reliable in combat ... especially close combat and the pre-Kuldahar areas. On the contrary, with the power of two Sorcerers, at some point of the main game, there is the feeling that one doesn't really need the other party members anymore.
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @Merina been meaning to reply for a while but rather busy. Random items are good but I'd only go with that on a full no reload run which I've been meaning to do since 1.4 came out (insane but no extra damage or xp with single class party and no stat adjustments).

    Okay onto the next post.

    1) why wouldn't you go to 5 for the extra +1 attack and damage?
    2) gaining ++ in longbows doesn't seem worth the trade off of losing the opportunity to go Kensei (don't need a ranged weapon when you have MMM)
    3) THAC0 is close to irrelevant in this game if you buff appropriately and there's a few Tensers scrolls anyway. The multi loses a full attack per round, kit bonuses, +1 attack, +3 damage and faster access to high level mage spells
    4) disagree strongly. All 4 of my casters have there slots fill thanks to Lonelywood and they have all the spells that hey need. Why would you want your FM casting IH when they could be casting Tensers? Why would you want them casting Web when they could be casting Blur/Mirror Image? Why would you want them casting Emotion and Spirit Armor when they could be casting Stoneskin?

    I think 3 casters is very feasible with one being a support caster like a Bard to cover all of those buffs that just take away combat buffs from your front liners. My fourth caster is my FMT who was a strong archer out the gate and will come back with a vengeance once he gains access to Mislead. Everything else is irrelevant. He has enough spells and he's a good fighter and covers thief duties, done and dusted.

    5) I don't really see the point in going to berserker 9. The THAC0 and HP of a zerkcler is second to none and the extra rage is meh. Kensei 9->Cleric on the other hand ... Don't need a ranged weapon when you have Spiritual Hammer.

    6) you seriously hurt your druid by being multi as his ability to hit 5 APR is basically gone. Eventually you just have a slow levelling single class druid for intents and purposes. I'd take a kensei dual any day or even an Avenger (shapechanges is quite good) before a multi.

    7) which area is that? I've found it interesting that compared to my previous run I have half the xp but it seems twice as easy. I expected a shit fest when entering TotL but with -20 AC on 4 characters I'm not sure that we even took a hit. The only trouble I've had was against the ice golems who seem to have a thac0 of about -10 but kendru with Ironskins stepped up nicely.

    8) I had a much smoother experience here than previously. Invisibility to scout and pulling to the choke point outside the tower to smash them with spike growth and fireballs worked an absolute charm and the pay off is huge in terms of items, scrolls and xp. I only did the Mebdinga fight and one fight worth of trash outside before invis'ing to Hjol and getting a ride back to Kuldahar mind you.

    *) how to 2 sorcerers work through HoF trash efficiently compared to melee characters? (Who, for instance, put out up to 390 damage per round from the moment that we have IH).
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    So I managed the whole Temple of Helm in TotLM without resting. Very minimal reloads too, just rolled with it when I got careless and found my PCs teleported around the map. Totally simplifies things to have lots of casts of Web available and to not have to rely on buffs for a good AC (thanks to -4 from Skald song). Quite a few useless spells as I didn't change people's spell books.

    Current levels are:
    6% Gnome 14 cleric/13 illusionist
    0% Skald 19
    12% FMT 10/11/13 (dual LSoA +4 and so close to Mislead!)
    24% Kensei 9/Druid 15 (Talon of the Gloomfrost+Wind of Heavan)
    32% Berserker 7/Cleric 16 (Shocking Flail +4, 3 White Doves, Fast Flail)
    24% Kensei 9/Mage 14 (Axe of Fatigue +3, Bastard Sword of Action +1)

    The party would be much higher level if I hadn't turned off insane xp but it's totally worth it as it keeps the difficulty curve more interesting.

    The FMT and the Illcler are going to be late bloomers but they can hold their own even now just require more micromanagement which is often not worth the hassle.
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    Wowo said:

    1) why wouldn't you go to 5 for the extra +1 attack and damage?

    I did go to level 5 as the party list shows.
    Wowo said:


    2) gaining ++ in longbows doesn't seem worth the trade off of losing the opportunity to go Kensei (don't need a ranged weapon when you have MMM)

    Ranged combat ... except against the Ogres ... makes the pre-Kuldahar fights easier. And later there are plenty of opportunities to attack ranged, too. Focus will be on melee combat, however.
    Wowo said:


    3) THAC0 is close to irrelevant in this game if you buff appropriately and there's a few Tensers scrolls anyway. The multi loses a full attack per round, kit bonuses, +1 attack, +3 damage and faster access to high level mage spells

    As mentioned, the Berserker -> Mage dual is the primary wizard. More than enough. The multi Fi/Ma is the more reliable fighter always and doesn't need to use the single Tenser's scroll I've found so far. The Berserker could be made a Kensai ... but a Berserker can wear any heavy armor that's available and for a long time help fighting. Heavy armored dual/multi priests can still cast spells, too.
    Wowo said:


    6) you seriously hurt your druid by being multi as his ability to hit 5 APR is basically gone.

    I've found only three +1 APR weapons so far ... so the two Berserker->Cleric in my party still wear a good shield for more safety.
    A first Fast Flail +2 in the loot of Vaarglan's companions.
    Wowo said:


    Eventually you just have a slow levelling single class druid for intents and purposes. I'd take a kensei dual any day or even an Avenger (shapechanges is quite good) before a multi.

    I do need the F/D's healing power early on. I refuse to rely on the few healing potions or running away to not get hit. Hit'n'run against the Ogres is worse enough already. Obviously if I replace the F/D with a F/C or Gnome Ma/Cl or a different healer, I need to modify this special party elsewhere, too. There are enough options.
    Wowo said:


    7) which area is that?

    Fallen Temple up to activating the staircase.
    Wowo said:


    I've found it interesting that compared to my previous run I have half the xp but it seems twice as easy. I expected a shit fest when entering TotL but with -20 AC on 4 characters I'm not sure that we even took a hit.

    Your AC values still confuse me. Is that -20 AC only with gear or with buffs again? ... Here, typically we only refer to the AC value in the character's record as the bard songs' effects and spell buffs are the same for everyone, and individual classes may add their own buffs. I've swapped the equipment a bit to distribute it evenly, and two heroes are AC -13, one AC -10 and the F/D is AC -8. That's the displayed value without any buffs. AC -15 on the Sw5->Fi is possible, but only using equipment from the other heroes.

    I've not started TotL yet. Party has just travelled to the Isle of the Great Wyrm (AR9600).
    Wowo said:


    8) I had a much smoother experience here than previously. Invisibility to scout and pulling to the choke point outside the tower to smash them with spike growth and fireballs worked an absolute charm and the pay off is huge in terms of items, scrolls and xp. I only did the Mebdinga fight and one fight worth of trash outside before invis'ing to Hjol and getting a ride back to Kuldahar mind you.

    Let's not repeat that. See my earlier comment on that. I've confronted Mebdinga directly without running away to a choke-point and without leaving the barrows ... and without fireballs ... so, a brute-force ambush after moving in invisibly because of respawning enemies. Still, I don't see the point of doing these harder and time-consuming fights so early compared with rushing through Severed Hand and onwards. If engaging those Drowned Dead in melee, a high-level Skald's AC -4 bonus could be worthwhile ... in addition to the better equipment you've collected by reloading.

    A few levels later, the six warriors in my test party returned to the Barrows to clear them. I only did that because one can miss one option when talking to Hjollder before visiting Wylfdene once more.
    Wowo said:


    more micromanagement which is often not worth the hassle.

    Less micromanagement is why I've created this different party. Once again I've not used any potions so far except for a very few healing potions to avoid accidents.

    If inserting a Skald into the party, I would replace other heroes too, and get rid of one of the two dual/multi Mages and possibly even have fun with a single-class kit, such as a Dwarven Defender. On the other hand, even going with three Berserker->Clerics could be great fun ... memorizing different spells and dualing at different levels.
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    edited June 2015
    *lol* Talking about party modifications and strength of party ...

    Skald
    Dwarven Defender
    Swashbuckler 5 -> Fighter
    Fighter/Cleric
    Fighter/Mage
    Fighter/Druid

    Compared with the previous test party ... replaced the Berserker9->Mage with the Skald, the Berserker7->Cleric with a Gnome Fighter/Cleric and the Berserker9->Cleric with a Dwarven Defender.

    The Orcs+Ogres cave has never been so easy before at HoF mode!

    Saving Throws and random rolls may make a big difference, too, as Grease and Entangle worked much better this time. However, I could kill two of the Ogres and a few Orcs before leaving the cave.

    And about THAC0: The Fi/Ma is an Elf ... early on that is a -4 THAC0 difference compared with the Dwarven Defender who is unskilled with bows but uses the same composite longbow for ranged combat before switching to axe'n'shield for melee combat. A huge difference that decides between hit and miss.
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @Merina i really think that you're overlooking the impact of total party attacks per round.

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    oops
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Let me elaborate.

    At level 1 your above party can have, at most, 12 APR. This is your starting point.
    At 128k xp you can go to 20 APR under haste, a 66% increase in attack speed.
    At 2.5m xp you cap at 18.5 APR base, up to 24 APR depending on your speed weapons and 34.5 to 43 with haste. A possible 100% increase in attack speed over level 7 performance (but varying by up to 25% depending on your items).

    In contrast, a dual heavy party (such as a Skald, FMC, FMT, K->D, B->C, K->M team) with item fishing can have:

    12.5 APR at level 1.
    19 APR at 64k xp, slightly behind the multi party for a while.
    18 Base APR at 500k xp, only half an attack down with 1/5th the xp. Fishing our 2 speed weapons from Dragon Eye gives 25 with haste. Or, to put it another way, for 2 million xp this party could attack 25% faster.

    TL:DR: Attacks Per Round is hugely important in a power gaming discussion.

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Here is a list of the bonuses that I can think of that my party makes use of. I made that comment after I went into TotLM fully buffed and noticed that 4 characters had -20 or better AC. I still need to work on getting the FMT with a lower AC and I've been caught out a few times with my bard getting whacked (who I do very little to protect thanks to the AI).

    1 base AC from Spirit Armour (3 minute duration)
    -4 dex
    -2 kensei or rage
    -4 skald song
    -1 to -3 from helmet, necklace and helm (Trusted Defender Helm, Black Wolf Talisman, Bone Marrow Belt)
    -2 enfusing robe
    -3 blur or shimmering sash
    -2 to -4 stackable AC item (Scintillating Cloak or Wailing of Virgins)
    -1 DUHM
    -1 to -2 from weapons (LSoA +4, Shocking Flail +4)
    -1 base AC 0 from full plate +1
    -2 prot evil 10ft
    -6 Entropy Shield
    -4 Tensers Transformation

    This makes it quite reasonable for to get 5 characters to -20 AC and some to the hard cap of -24 AC. Also, via modifiers you can bypass the cap with, for example, Wailing of Virgins, Full Plate and Golden Girdle.

    Realistically it is quite easy to maintain -15 or so AC indefinitely which keeps us safe from 95% of enemies. Cannot underestimate how useful it is to have enough level 2 wizard spell slots to load up on multiple Blur spells and still have plenty of casts of Web available. Currently the only character without Blur is the Druid who has that stack of blur cards if needed.

    On the flip side it can be quite convenient to have the damage resistance option as well and the Bone Marrow Belt on a druid can give 100% slashing resistance from as early as the Severed Hand in Beetle Form. By 1.8 million xp (2.05mil in the case of a 9 dual, 3.6mil in the case of a multi) you get water elemental form which gives 100% DR to all damage when combined with Shield of Faith. This worked neatly against the Spectral Guards when I ran into some unbuffed, I simply rounded them up with the druid and then let them wail on him while everyone else played clean up. The large attack circle is particularly handy to keep many enemies occupied with 0 risk to the party.

  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    Again, AC buffs can be the same for everyone, especially the Skald's song ... so only the permanent AC based on items is what I'm interested in.

    Loot is so amazingly random ... I've found Glimglam's Cloak +1 for the first time. And it's a long time since I've found Turodahel +2 once before. Don't expect me to reload before opening chests or to reload before key encounters where random loot is dropped. No way!

    TL:DR: Attacks Per Round is hugely important in a power gaming discussion.
    Starting the game with two Kensai duals that are easy to hit is a huge penalty I'm not going to accept.

    You may remember I've pushed a Kensai 13 -> Mage through before ... so I know both sides. The fragility for a long time, and the high APR rate comes too late. Even a Kensai 9 -> Mage is not worth the hassle. Same for a Kensai -> Druid just to get GM and a higher Druid level faster? A normal F/D can wear heavy armor from level 1 onwards.

    Skald, FMC, FMT, K->D, B->C, K->M team
    Two triple-multi-class heroes advance even slower than the F/M and F/C I'll be testing. The F/M is way ahead of the scroll levels one can find. Going to HoW early doesn't change that much as the focus is on even less arcane power. Less "all-in" to become powerful.

    As why I'm running experiments ... after trying a Skald-less Sorcerer-less party, one often made argument in this topic has been that Skald is powergaming, despite it being just a kit that doesn't require the player to do any special skilling such as dual-classing or min/maxing. Neglecting the fact that I'm familiar with bards as I've played them often enough, but they get boring ... so, I'm going to a different extreme and using the Skald precisely to boost the several warriors, while replacing the second Berserker->Cleric with the Dwarven Defender blocker freak, because three priests result in too many divine spells just like Sorcerer+DragonDisciple resulted in insane arcane power. The reliability of the Dwarven Defender so far is unbelievable. I haven't played one often before in IWDEE ... probably only once or twice in my first games. It will get interesting...

    On the topic of "underestimating" ... haha ... where to draw the line? More wizards can make HoF easier, but you'll be spending a lot of time on casting, casting, casting. I won't have fun testing with three sorcerers or tiny party involving only wizards. More warriors can make HoF easier, too, since they give you reliable battle power, which you can boost here and there where necessary. Still, one Mage and one Druid helping with Grease and Entangle is so great during the early game, I don't want to miss it when I likely will cast Web and other spells again later anyway. Same for a bit of healing, when I don't want to run in circles or go long ways to find a resting place.
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @Merina AC is a combination of gear, kit bonuses, spells and stats. If you neglect one part it makes it harder to bring it together. Consider:
    - +6 AC from kits (Skald+Kensei/Rage)
    - +6 AC from Entropy Shield available at 739k xp for a B7->C11 compared to 1.35m for a multi and the comparable durations.
    - +3 AC from everyone having Blur
    - +4 AC with the 2 Tensers scrolls in TotLM

    Honestly Ive found this run totally smooth. The AI is so terrible that it's simple to have the tank soaking hits and bring in the Kensei's behind to mop up. Compared to an archer they were only behind in kills for the very first cave, after that they caught up quick smart and by the time they hit level 5 there is enough HP that you don't have to stress too much. 13 kensei is too much. 9 kensei is easy even on half xp.

    I'm still unsure whether FMC or IllCler is better. I'm thinking Illcler is better as you can hit 5 APR via offhand fast flail, reckless ring and Tensers at which point you have everything the triple class does except for 2 damage and higher caster levels.

    Fishing for items is personal preference but it's certainly a good example of power gaming.

    Multiclassing with fighter just seems so wasteful from a powergaming pov. Consider:
    - thac0 is better on cleric and mage duals because holy power/tensers
    - kensei 9->Druid has a better thac0 than multi until 2.5mil xp at which point I doubt you'd ever miss anyway
    - damage is better on duals because of kits
    - more attacks per round due to GM
    - higher caster level

    There really is no contest.

    However, of course we don't want to start with 5 duals so we compromise as much or as little as we want. My solution is to include a FMT and an Illusionist/Cleric. The FMT is an excellent early archer, the spell slots are useful and at mage 12 he becomes the best damage dealer in the party (10 attacks per round at 100 damage per swing? Yes please!). The Illcler is a substitute for a sorcerer, combining cleric spells in sequencers is neat and you can turn him into an excellent tank and damage dealer with polymorph self and other roid spells. Both of these characters are very strong early game when the duals need some help and exceptionally strong late game when other multis are just slow levelling casters. In the mid game they are outshined by newly minted duals but that's okay.

    Realise that the DD is dead weight from the moment a druid can hit the same damage resistance but have GM and spells as well.

    Can never have too many spells. Fighting Umber Hulks? Chaotic Commands or Impevious Sanctity for everyone. Fighting Virgins? Deathward*6. Fighting fire or cold using creatures? Protection. The party as described has 4 wizards and 3 priests because it works. Duals gives the spell duration you need to keep going. Later in the game a duals buffs will last as much as 50% longer than a multis due to the level discrepancy.

    More warriors ... As many as possible!
    More mages ... As many as possible!
    More priests ... As many as possible!

    As you can see my party has 5 warriors, 4 mages and 3 priests. What's not to love? Can't really compare a multi caster with a dual caster after level 12 when the xp curve becomes increasingly linear.



  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    @Wowo

    You forget the previous parties I've played for comparison. For example and mentioned in this topic: Recently two Berserker->Clerics, one dualed at level 7 one at level 9. Many many spells! Another dual, a mage. In total six warriors, five spell casters, four dual-classes, four heroes with GM, two multi-classes, three priests, two mages ... because there really are not enough useful scrolls for the mages.

    And once I reach the power to complete multiple battles without resting, there's the argument that this is not necessary. Surely not. But why create such strong parties then?

    As you can see my party has 5 warriors, 4 mages and 3 priests. What's not to love?
    Two triple-multi-class characters that are just ballast as you mostly play them as supporters like the Skald.

    So, you limit yourself to three front fighters, which you boost as much as possible, which is mandatory for two Kensai duals.

    Fishing for items is personal preference but it's certainly a good example of power gaming.
    Prior knowledge of what to expect is more meta-gaming than power-gaming. And save'n'reload when pocket picking and looting is highly controversial anyway.

    The AI is so terrible
    Also meta-gaming. Abusing the knowledge that some enemies chase a single invisible party member and gather around it without being able to attack is cheesy meta-gaming. Do I need to repeat that retreating from the early Orcs Ogres cave without them chasing the party to Easthaven is something I dislike?

    Why aim at creating an "optimal" party when considering the game too easy and the AI "terrible"? Why still apply cheesy tactics and save'n'reload when the party is "optimal"? Where's the point?

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    Merina said:

    @Wowo

    You forget the previous parties I've played for comparison. For example and mentioned in this topic: Recently two Berserker->Clerics, one dualed at level 7 one at level 9. Many many spells! Another dual, a mage. In total six warriors, five spell casters, four dual-classes, four heroes with GM, two multi-classes, three priests, two mages ... because there really are not enough useful scrolls for the mages.

    And once I reach the power to complete multiple battles without resting, there's the argument that this is not necessary. Surely not. But why create such strong parties then?


    As you can see my party has 5 warriors, 4 mages and 3 priests. What's not to love?
    Two triple-multi-class characters that are just ballast as you mostly play them as supporters like the Skald.

    So, you limit yourself to three front fighters, which you boost as much as possible, which is mandatory for two Kensai duals.

    Fishing for items is personal preference but it's certainly a good example of power gaming.
    Prior knowledge of what to expect is more meta-gaming than power-gaming. And save'n'reload when pocket picking and looting is highly controversial anyway.

    The AI is so terrible
    Also meta-gaming. Abusing the knowledge that some enemies chase a single invisible party member and gather around it without being able to attack is cheesy meta-gaming. Do I need to repeat that retreating from the early Orcs Ogres cave without them chasing the party to Easthaven is something I dislike?

    Why aim at creating an "optimal" party when considering the game too easy and the AI "terrible"? Why still apply cheesy tactics and save'n'reload when the party is "optimal"? Where's the point?



    Again you refer to powergaming by some narrow definition that only you adhere to. Metagaming, cheese and min maxing is all part of the powergaming toolbox, as with AC values you can ignore one aspect but it makes it harder to then bring the whole thing together.

    What powergaming is about is making the best party to progress through the content as efficiently as possible without any consideration for how the game is supposed to be played (roleplaying and story, bah!).

    Having played a few different parties too I can say that there are plenty of scrolls for 4 mages to be very strong. By the end of TotLM and Severed Hand I have 2 stoneskin, 4 web, 4 blur, 4 chromatic orb, 4 shield, 3 haste, 2 greater malison, 4 mirror image, 2 Tensers, 1 mislead, 1 improved haste, 2 hope, 2 courage, 1 project image, 3 minor sequencers ... I mean, how many spells scrolls do there need to be before there's enough?

    Another way of looking at it is the alternatives for the classes. The FMT is, first and foremost, a thief. How does he stack up against your Swashbuckler 5->Figher build? Well, the S->F is essentially a vanilla fighter with +1 att/dam/AC. GM is the only perk that matters and weapon selection is wide open. On the downside you lose out 30 HP, miss out on exceptional strength and the build peaks at level 9 when you hit GM with zero to look forward to after this. In contrast a FMT has all the benefits of a multi FT with some added mage spells. Those added mage spells are golden as they are filled with chromatic orb, web, slow and summons with a few defensive spells if he gets targeted. Finally, when you hit mage level 12 you can go on a killing spree with mislead chunking enemies left right and center, it's truly hilarious.

    Similarly, a FMC is essentially a FC but with mage spells. A FC gets most of its good spells at a fairly low level and throwing in mage to the equation can only improve things especially when you consider the possibilities of combining cleric spells in sequencers. However, as I detailed above I'm considering my Illcler experiment a success and a superior build due to the applications of Polymorph Self and later basic roid spells.

    No I don't limit myself to 3 front line fighters. By Dragon's Eye the FMT and Illcler had transitioned to transient roles between melee and ranged depending on the situation. By level 12 I firmly have 5 melee characters and only swap to ranged if I absolutely have to.

    This idea about the multis being ballast is absurd as I've tried to demonstrate. Yes the Illcler is primarily a caster but can move into damage role with polymorph or roid spells. Yes the FMT started as an archer and doesn't quite have the punch in melee of a kensage but still holds its own survival wise and in the kill tallies.

    It's also absurd how fragile you make kenseis out to be. The kensage and the kendru both have skins, self buffed AC which only require 2-3 spells, heaps of HP and excellent killing power along with being excellent primary spellcasters. All this for the cost of a little downtime that even on half xp was finished before finishing Dragon's Eye. Any suggestion that a multi fighter even remotely compares is just silly.

    I struggled for ages to come up with a strategy to beat the ogre fight without running away, even with my fragile kensei party I almost managed it and only had to employ a minimal amount of cheese to overcome the fight. It sounds like even with your multi parties that you haven't faired much better despite probably rolling with double xp. Overall I don't think it's worthwhile gimping the party for the entire game just to overcome that one fight.
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    Wowo said:


    to progress through the content as efficiently as possible

    Being chased by monsters while retreating to "choke-points" is inefficient. Your party has not been powerful enough to enter the Barrows normally and confront Mebdinga without special "tricks" that involve AI weaknesses. That's not something to brag about. ... It would have been necessary to start HoW at a later point. To be fair.

    How to measure efficiency? Total time it takes to finish a fight? Waiting for area damage spells to kill enemies after several rounds instead of rushing in with buffed fighters to do that faster? For example, Spike Growth lasts one turn ... and unless you want to take damage, you need to wait for the spell to time out before you can proceed. That's one reason why I enjoy instant damage even if it may be less damage than waiting several rounds more for a different spell's area effect. ... Don't forget all the combat preparations and the resting, returning to safe areas unless you save'n'reload for resting, too. The Sorcerer and DragonD impressed me a lot because of so many high-level damage spells that are available early to complete multiple ambushs quickly.
    Wowo said:


    By the end of TotLM and Severed Hand I have 2 stoneskin, 4 web, 4 blur, 4 chromatic orb, 4 shield, 3 haste, 2 greater malison, 4 mirror image, 2 Tensers, 1 mislead, 1 improved haste, 2 hope, 2 courage, 1 project image, 3 minor sequencers

    End of TotLM? Also end of HoW including Island of the Great Wyrm? Do you mean you refer to almost the end of the complete game? ... It doesn't matter that one can find more scrolls near the end of the game and near the end of the extensions. All that matters is what painful and tiresome ways you've gone through to come that far. And even when using sequencers, how many rounds do you spend casting spells before a fight?
    Wowo said:


    Another way of looking at it is the alternatives for the classes. The FMT is, first and foremost, a thief.

    Somewhere far into Gloomfrost at more than 5,55x,xxx experience points, the multi Fi/Ma is level 19/17, the dual Fi->Ma is 9/24. That's only a difference of 7 wizard levels affecting the duration of some spells a bit, but when playing with a Skald, the single-class Skald can take over the casting of several spells that depend on caster level. The lvl 24 mage dual clearly is the better mage and can memorize more 7/8/9 level spells ... but a lvl 18 mage can cast a single level 9 spell, too, and most of the spells you cast to enhance your guys are level 6/7 and lower.

    A triple-class multi will be at even lower levels ... and you're not playing a full XP even.
    Wowo said:


    How does he stack up against your Swashbuckler 5->Fighter build?

    Reliability here is the key with a plain fighter. Haste him, be done and watch the show. Perhaps support him a bit ... and if he needs to retreat, the low THAC0 means that even with an unskilled ranged weapon gives a satisfying hit ratio.
    Wowo said:


    miss out on exceptional strength

    With strength 19? Certainly not! It's a STR +1 CON -1 potion ... a hardcore gamer can probably find it always with save'n'reload ... dunno ... I won't try that.
    Wowo said:


    By Dragon's Eye

    With your style of jumping into HoW and TotLM, when exactly is Dragon's Eye? :wink:
    Wowo said:


    It's also absurd how fragile you make kenseis out to be. The kensage and the kendru both have skins,

    When exactly? ... And in case you start HoW before Dragon's Eye, that cannot be efficient as I doubt you have the gear to fight Drowned Dead and others on Burial Isle with your Kensais in melee.
    Wowo said:


    I struggled for ages to come up with a strategy to beat the ogre fight without running away, even with my fragile kensei party I almost managed it and only had to employ a minimal amount of cheese to overcome the fight.

    There's a difference ... I don't wanna struggle for ages trying to find a strategy, especially not if it involves cheese. I prefer minimal preparations and then reacting to enemy actions. In the Orcs cave, I don't wanna pause the game a hundred times to micro-manage six heroes and let them run in circles, serve as bait, get stuck, work around path finding problems, and things like that. Though, I've found that raw fighter power is helpful, of course ... increasing the damage and killing them quickly enough ... whereas the two sorcerers were more of a hindrance because one party slot less for a hero to do good damage.
    Wowo said:


    It sounds like even with your multi parties that you haven't faired much better despite probably rolling with double xp.

    Don't get hostile. You've used the words "silly" and "aburd" before, and you're playing with a FMC and FMT in your party, which are multis by definition.

    I don't want to play at HoF without any multis, because without Grease + Entangle + Spike Growth, early fights like the Orcs Cave or Kuldahar Pass require tactics I don't wanna apply (running in circles, hoping for enemies to get stuck). You enter melee combat with your Kensais? The F/C adds early Animate Dead, which is helpful for a very long time with the F/D summoning beetles and monsters that do damage that counts as an enchanted weapon. Perhaps even a single multi M/C could suffice to provide the few essential spells one needs early ... dunno.
    Wowo said:


    Overall I don't think it's worthwhile gimping the party for the entire game just to overcome that one fight.

    You've misunderstood the experiment. I've managed that fight with other parties, too, ... and I didn't even care much that I've had more trouble with the Sorcerer+DragonD party. I want to learn what to expect from the Skald's AC bonus when using single-class warriors with ordinary equipment I find/purchase. How much support will be necessary? ... Battling Wraith Spiders directly with a Dwarven Defender has been an entertaining experience.

    Oh ... and I don't claim any of the parties to be "better".
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 838
    @Merina : you've mentioned a thief 3 > Fighter dual a few times, used as an archer. This character interests me. How did you distribute his thief skills and do you rely upon items or potions to boost thief skills when needed? Or do you pump find/remove traps and cast knock to open chests if bashing doesn't work?

    Thanks.
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 838
    Never mind. I posted that before getting to the point you had answered it in the thread.

    I see a lot of discussion in here about the best weapons.

    What are the best weapons in this game, divided by random vs non random?

    I don't like reloading to get the best random stuff, but I do allow myself the mets gaming approach to know what to plan for when I'm planning out my best party.

    The last time I played IWD, it was on a PC long before EE was even imagined.

    I saw the mention of a Dwarven a Defender earlier as well, with 100% resistances to all damage. Why is he not mentioned by most in the powergamjng discussion?
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 838
    I also think "best powergaming party" - while obviously different depending on the player, is also vastly different depending on how you're playing this game.

    If you're not playing in HoF mode, or not on insane difficulty, your setup is quite different.

    Would I be correct in assuming the parties posted earlier in this thread are built for HOF/insane?
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    edited July 2015
    do you rely upon items or potions to boost thief skills when needed? Or do you pump find/remove traps and cast knock to open chests if bashing doesn't work?
    @Klorox : The latter. A Thief starts with 50 FindTraps and receives 25 skill points per level, so that becomes 100 Find Traps at level 3. That's the most important thieving skill and a good opportunity to dual-class.

    The alternative is a Swashbuckler 5 -> Fighter. Then you can get an additional OpenLocks 75 or PickPocket 75 and the level 5 bonus for Swashbucklers. OpenLocks 75 is enough for most chests in the game. Exceptional strength from a different character can be used to force open a few remaining locks ... and where that doesn't work, a Mage can learn the Knock spell. As one is resting often anyway to refresh spells, one can memorize the Knock spell just for opening the very few locked chests ... such as Yxunomei's.

    My background is a ranged Cleric/Thief or Fighter/Thief in multi-player games where the other thieving skills can be entertaining, too ... especially when doing real role-playing. For HoF mode, I usually don't skill the dual-class thief as a full archer. At most I spend a single point on shortbow+ when I start and shortsword+. I switch to bastardswords or axes when becoming a fighter. The returning Throwing Axe +2 is found 100% and a good choice for ranged attacks whenever you feel like attacking ranged works for you ... and enchanted arrows cost gold. Then when the thief class is back, I continue with shortswords, too. THAC0 gets low enough to develop a high hit ratio with shortbow+ or other ranged weapons without skilling it further. And as a fighter can skill any weapon, personal taste matters, too.
    Post edited by Merina on
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303
    @Klorox
    Klorox said:

    Would I be correct in assuming the parties posted earlier in this thread are built for HOF/insane?

    Not necessarily. The same parties can be played at lower difficulty levels, too.

    It will take more time to reactivate the primary class, however, so if you've started with a warrior, you suddenly are left to only the secondary class for a long time within Dragon's Eye.

    Let's assume you wanted to dual-class a Berserker at level 7 to Cleric, that would be 64,000 + 110,000 XP to reactivate the primary class ... one has collected a bit above 40,000 XP per character before Dragon's Eye at hard difficulty ... and a total of 216,000 XP per character after reporting back from Dragon's Eye. The party may need to compensate the dual-class heroes within Dragon's Eye. That may not be worthwhile.

    Just to reach grand mastery by dual-classing it's always an option to dual-class at level 3 already.

    The main game ends somewhere below two million XP per character at Hard. That's level 15 for Fighters, level 18 for Rogues and somewhere inbetween for the popular dual-classes. Even at normal difficulty, at end of main game it's more than 1,577,xxx XP per character. No high levels without much of Heart of Winter.

    Single-class heroes for anything up to and including insane difficulty are really fine and fun.
    Klorox said:

    I saw the mention of a Dwarven a Defender earlier as well, with 100% resistances to all damage. Why is he not mentioned by most in the powergamjng discussion?

    That's one of the things I'm trying to find out. :naughty:

    I know a few players, who play differently. There's a backstabber among them and a fan of Jan Jansen.
    I also know what it's like to play solo, run in circles and throw pebbles, farm basilisks in BG, for example, to level up quickly. Some love taking hurdles to create something they think is completely overpowered ... and one of the key questions is: why jump over hops if less effort results in an overpowered party already, too?

    What to say about the Dwarven Defender so far? ... Nothing unexpected up to end of Dragon's Eye.
    Unfortunately, Yxunomei and her followers didn't even manage to attack the party, because a DwarvenD in the party does not mean I do every fight differently ... but I've sent the DwarvenD into the fray often enough and even forgot casting area damage spells due to that. However, with the Skald's song (level 13 only) and Prot.Evil'10 enough enemies hit often enough, so clearly playing an armor-less shield-less Kensai->Mage without Ghost/Spirit Armor and without Stoneskin requires much more effort than with vanilla warriors.
Sign In or Register to comment.