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7 = 3x4; 8 = 3x6; 9 = 3x8 ("Do unto the AI as you would have the AI do unto you.")

YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
For the first time, I successfully managed to get a Sorcerer to lvl 14.
After some agonizing, I picked Spell Sequencer as my first lvl 7 pick and had an epihany:

** Sequencers function like mini-Time Stops. **

Allow me to explain:

My Dragon Disciple now starts any non-trivial fight with SIX spells within the first 7 seconds, i.e., by the time of the beginning of the second round, I have:
* fire Spell Sequencer -> cast Spell Sequencer -> fire the newly loaded Spell Sequencer

So, within first 7 seconds I typically end up casting (reflecting my current spell picks):

(Blur + Fire Shield + Imp Inv) + (3 x Ice Storm OR 3 x Fireball OR Slow+Glitterdust+Acid Arrow)


I suppose Spell Trigger opens options such as:

(PfMW + True Sight + Spell Imm) + (Malison [picking it later] + Chaos + Slow OR 3 x Chain Lightning)


I know this may be already obvious to the experts, but I just noticed the impact of such triggers on the power curve:

You expand one lvl 7 [8] spell [and another one before you engage; possibly at rest] to cast SIX lvl 4 [6] spells in the opening round of a though fight.

I realized that my Dragon Disciple can in principle destroy any cluster of Vampires:

1. buff with (PfMW + Chaotic Commands) just in case
2. unleash 6 x Fireball before they can even hit you (the last 3 likely need to be targeted on yourself as they will rush you)


(On principle, I'll refuse to pick Project Image [it should exhaust your own spell book; not duplicate it].)


I probably stumbled on something obvious to the experts, but it is very exciting.

What are some awesome combinations people successfully used?
How about Cleric/Mages?
Do you keep Sequencers memorized regularly or just use them as emergency backups?

Post edited by Ygramul on
semiticgodSethDavisdunbarJuliusBorisovlolienMoradinBelgarathMTHtypo_tillyCrevsDaakBlind_VisionaryRelSundanAndreaColombo
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Comments

  • FlashburnFlashburn Member Posts: 1,723
    You sure like that Scorcher Loop, @semiticgod

    semiticgodlolien
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    Grum said:

    I usually play fighter heavy parties. Unless the fight is really hard, even my wizards tend to just attack...

    I sense the Bigby strong in you. (... also possibly Bigby sequencers.)

    Grum
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,339
    I wouldn't think sequencers and contingencies are that useful in combat, under normal circumstances. I've used contingencies in combat, but I have much less experience with sequencers in combat.

    Spell Trigger and Spell Sequencer can deliver 3 spells at once, and the casting time for triggering them is very small, but the casting time for the spell itself--to prepare the trigger or sequencer--is quite large and easy to interrupt. You lose a very high-level spell slot in exchange for a slight increase in speed.

    Also, contingencies can interrupt your spellcasting. See, a couple seconds after casting a Contingency or Chain Contingency spell, your character begins casting a dummy spell. That dummy spell will interrupt anything you're trying to do during that round. If you use a contingency in the middle of a fight, you might get a spell or three off the ground very quickly, but you might lose a spell if you don't know what you're doing. You have to cancel that dummy spell right after it starts by giving your character another order--say, clicking on the ground somewhere.

    Also, Chain Contingency and Spell Sequencer occupy some very precious spell slots. Project Image, Summon Planetar, Improved Alacrity, and Wish come to mind.

    JuliusBorisovlolienlunargorgonzola
  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,307
    Chain Contingency is horrifyingly powerful on a Sorcerer. Really makes the most of their bulging spell duplication.

    3x Mordy Sword on enemy sighted is a favourite of mine.

    lolien
  • MoradinMoradin Member Posts: 372
    bengoshi said:

    This thread convinces me that I'm really a noob in using high-level arcane casters.

    Welcome to the club, me friend.

    I feel that from a role-playing perspective, casting a 7th level spell to be able to cast 3x4th level spells is reasonable. One thing that comes to mind is that if you are willing to spend a 7th level spell for casting lower level spells it means you have additional 7th level spells to spare. So the spell sequencer in this case might just be one option that might work well for you under certain circumstances, but you very likely have other options to wrap your head around the same problem. Another thing that comes to mind is that while in game enemies have weaknesses that can be easily exploited (think about a triple fireball vs a group of trolls), in the pen and paper these weaknesses are less easy to exploit (the trolls would likely not remain in an easily targetable group, or you might be ambushed by them, making it more difficult for you to release the spell sequencer without any damage to your own party). Additionally, although sequencers and contingencies are great spells and can be useful in a number of occasions (some reported very neatly by @semiticgod ), they tend to wear off as your level and your enemy's Challenge Rating increases. It doesn't matter how many fireballs/scorcers you throw my way, if I have a simple Minor globe of invulnerability I will still kick your ass.
    I personally never got very creative with sequencers and contingencies, but I have to admit I used spell triggers and sequencers mostly to cast abjuration spells on enemy clerics/mages. A nice Pierce Magic/Breach/Dispel magic works wonders to bring down those obnoxious defences.

    JuliusBorisovGozetagorgonzola
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,174
    edited October 2015
    Ygramul said:

    AI never uses repeat castings of Sequencers:

    That pretty much seals it, for me. It's super easy to open the spells up in NI and tick the "non-combat" flag.

    My personal trade-off is to make them at-will innates: you can cast them as much as you want, and you don't have to waste spell slots on them, but you can't repeat them in combat.
    Ygramul said:

    I regard Project Image as an exploit and never use it. Also, AI never uses it.

    Interesting. I had not thought about this. I didn't think PI was so bad, though I don't use it to use scrolls or wands etc.

    I wonder how the spell might be improved. Maybe use simulacrum, instead, but disable the caster's spellcasting while it's in effect. So then the benefit of 8th-level Simulacrum is that you and your double can cast spells simultaneously. And no worries about being paralyzed or cheese your way around it. (I don't think there's any protection against the "disable button" opcode.)

    EDIT - btw I've definitely had the AI use PI against me. It's really annoying to deal with. Might be just an SCS thing, though.

  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,818
    I think the only spirit of sequencers and contingencies is that you spend ample time to prepare them regardless of whether you are in combat or not. If my mage decides to spend a round doing that it is the same as a druid smoking a pipe mid combat for a round or a warrior using his shield as a beertable.....

  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    abacus said:

    Chain Contingency is horrifyingly powerful on a Sorcerer. Really makes the most of their bulging spell duplication.

    3x Mordy Sword on enemy sighted is a favourite of mine.

    Related question:

    Does Mordy Sword reliably do good damage?

    I thought that 1 APR and mediocre THAC0 they look unimpressive, no?

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,307
    Ygramul said:

    abacus said:

    Chain Contingency is horrifyingly powerful on a Sorcerer. Really makes the most of their bulging spell duplication.

    3x Mordy Sword on enemy sighted is a favourite of mine.

    Related question:

    Does Mordy Sword reliably do good damage?

    I thought that 1 APR and mediocre THAC0 they look unimpressive, no?
    They do solid damage, and you can buff them with haste, bless, etc to improve output. Their best feature is that they are immune to physical damage, so they're the ultimate tanks vs melee. Fire Giants and dragons bounce off them whilst the summoner demolishes them from safety.

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,307
    3x Lower Resistance can be a game-changer too.

    semiticgodCrevsDaakAndreaColombo
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059

    "Do unto the AI as you would have the AI do unto you."

    I have decided that I should avoid doing things that AI is incapable of.
    I do not permit myself to use Sequencers mid combat. They are no longer an obvious first choice for a Sorcerer. (Casting 3 spells a round really breaks the balance.)

    I am gonna edit my Sorcerer spell book this once to remove Spell Sequencer. (It may still be a useful later choice to be used once per day, but not an obvious game breaker to be used every round.)

  • BillyYankBillyYank Member Posts: 2,690
    I'm planning a dragon disciple run, and I am so going to use this trick.

    Maxim 37: There is no "overkill." There is only "open fire" and "charge another sequencer."

    KaigenCrevsDaakAndreaColombo
  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 900
    Question: you ask to not use sequencers midfight, but SCSII AI do use it even on baldur's gate 1. Karkhk is a good example.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    Arthas said:

    Question: you ask to not use sequencers midfight, but SCSII AI do use it even on baldur's gate 1. Karkhk is a good example.

    They may use prepared triggers/contingencies, but I can't recall them loading one mid-combat (i.e. I don't recall them using multiples of the same trigger).

    Personally, I've long since stopped using triggers almost completely (certainly the mid-combat ones). Just personal choice, though, it's in the game so feel free to use it any which way you please.

    YgramulsubtledoctorgorgonzolaCrevsDaak
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059

    Arthas said:

    Question: you ask to not use sequencers midfight, but SCSII AI do use it even on baldur's gate 1. Karkhk is a good example.

    They may use prepared triggers/contingencies, but I can't recall them loading one mid-combat (i.e. I don't recall them using multiples of the same trigger).

    Personally, I've long since stopped using triggers almost completely (certainly the mid-combat ones). Just personal choice, though, it's in the game so feel free to use it any which way you please.

    Exactly, it is one thing to HAVE a trigger and release it midfight (which the SCS AI does) - and altogether different thing to repeatedly load-up triggers, which essentially triple your spell casting rate.

    I stay away from doing things that the AI cannot do. I may as well outright cheat otherwise.

    subtledoctor
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,664
    "I stay away from doing things that the AI cannot do"

    I don't,
    I can not refrain to use my brain, that is infinitely more adaptable, flexible, powerful than the few scripts that AI can use in those games.
    To really do the thing that I quoted I should write scripts for my party and let them fight the battle with no human intervention. I can avoid to abuse of some AI weakness, like avoid to bomb from the fog of war in vanilla, but the point there is not to imitate the AI, is to avoid cheap and too easy tactics* , that spoil my fun. To avoid something only because the AI don't do it is a completely different thing, and each player, also who don't use sequencers in combat, probably do continuously things that the AI don't do and can not do, like chose which spells to use using an human brain instead of choosing from a set list depending on few conditions, position the party members in an intelligent way dynamically, as the battle situation change, and on and over.
    I can use or not use a sequencer in combat, but in each case it has nothing to do with the things that the AI can or can not do as the AI will never be able to match my intelligence, don't matter if the developer/modder who script it is 100 times more intelligent than me.

    About casting sequencers, trigger and contingences I can not find in their description a single word that enforce the idea that is "really against the spirit of Sequencers and Contingencies to "load" them in the midst of combat". Nothing in their descriptions suggests that they don't have to be cast in certain situations. Also there is a flag that don't allow to caste a spell while engaged in combat, but the developers who created that flag did not use it in any of that 5 spells. To think that they implemented something and then forgot to use it in 5 different spells is really force their intentions. As in all those spells the flag is not used imo is clear that they choose to not use the flag, they choose to allow the casting of those spells in combat.
    The same for PI, is clearly intended as a way to duplicate for free the spell book (or better at the cost of a lev7 spell and at the risk to have the clone dispelled or true sighted). To say that use Project Image is an exploit would have also been forcing the developers intentions way to far, while saying "I regard Project Image as an exploit and never use it", like @Ygramul did, for me is perfectly fine, as is clear that is a player's choice, not assuming that to implement the spell like it is is a wrong thing and it should have been implemented in a different way, so is wrong and lame for a player to use it.

    For me is fine if some players choose to not use certain spells or not use them in certain situations and combinations, if is what make their own gaming more satisfying is the best thing that they can do.
    If those players are also modders and mod the game according to their preferences even better, other players with similar tastes will benefit of it.
    But saying that certain things are wrong, categorically, not only according to our personal tastes, or calling exploits using things that are clearly and intentionally implemented in the game, as are implemented, is a different thing.
    Is judgmental in respect of who has different tastes and force the supposed intentions of the developers in a direction that probably the developers had choose to don't take.


    By the way I am not so sure that is possible to cast 6 spells in 7 seconds using the sequencers, let's start with a sequencer prepared, at the beginning of the first round it is used and if I am not wrong it consumes the magical action for that round, so is not possible to immediately prepare a second one, we have to wait the beginning of round 2, consuming the magical action for that round, and it will be used only at the beginning of round 3, so 13 secs are needed.
    What is certainly possible is to go to the battle with a sequencer, a contingency and a CC ready, use the sequencer and then cast a second contingency and CC, for 11 spells in 7 secs, without even consuming the magical action of the second round.

    * cheap and too easy tactics, according to my taste and experience, when I was less experienced those cheap tactics where often the difference between survival and been chunked, they become cheap and easy only at the moment than I was ready for something more challenging.

    semiticgod
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,174
    edited October 2016


    About casting sequencers, trigger and contingences I can not find in their description a single word that enforce the idea that is "really against the spirit of Sequencers and Contingencies to "load" them in the midst of combat".

    Really? Really? You, with your "infinitely more adaptable and flexible brain" can't see that the spirit of the Contingency spell is to prepare something now and only use it later? And not a method to simply do something especially powerful right now? Because that is literally the dictionary definition of the word "contingency."

    I must say, hearing people brag about using exploits is very useful for me - because it helps me come up with ideas to make mods that remove those exploits. Here's some spell tweaks I'm planning:
    - Sequencers and Contingencies cannot be loaded in combat (but loading them will not use up a spell slot)
    - You are invisible while a Mislead or Project Image clone exists... BUT you cannot attack or cast spells during that time.

    YgramulBlind_VisionaryOtherguy
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    edited October 2016


    About casting sequencers, trigger and contingences I can not find in their description a single word that enforce the idea that is "really against the spirit of Sequencers and Contingencies to "load" them in the midst of combat".

    Really? Really? You, with your "infinitely more adaptable and flexible brain" can't see that the spirit of the Contingency spell is to prepare something now and only use it later? And not a method to simply do something especially powerful right now? Because that is literally the dictionary definition of the word "contingency."

    I must say, hearing people brag about using exploits is very useful for me - because it helps me come up with ideas to make mods that remove those exploits. Here's some spell tweaks I'm planning:
    - Sequencers and Contingencies cannot be loaded in combat (but loading them will not use up a spell slot)
    - You are invisible while a Mislead or Project Image clone exists... BUT you cannot attack or cast spells during that time.
    Well said!

    Quite frankly, one reason why BG is still alive after so many years is that it is really well balanced (especially with some staple mods like SCS). If I wanna just beat a game (which already contains built-in cheats) it would be a no contest anyway, if I wanted. I may as well play the Story Telling difficulty they just added in 2.0.

    Only with meaningful constraints and balance do you have game. Otherwise, it is just... a self-pleasing exercise.

    To each his own.

    --

    (P.S. Letting enemies use, e.g., Chain Contingencies mid-combat would balance things in one way -- but would be too frustrating. The whole "linear fighter / quadratic wizard" thing already is deeply balance breaking. Wizards (player or npc) do not need more game breaking advantages.)

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,174

    @subtledoctor: Personally, I'd find it more interesting to see an enemy use Chain Contingency like that in-combat. That could open up some scary possibilities for enemy lich encounters.

    Sure... but it's not gonna happen. So in the meantime I impose some restraints on myself - literally, adding restraints to the game via mods, so that I can then play to my utmost, and I don't feel like I'm restraining myself, in the moment.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,219
    edited October 2016

    I must say, hearing people brag about using exploits is very useful for me - because it helps me come up with ideas to make mods that remove those exploits. Here's some spell tweaks I'm planning:
    - Sequencers and Contingencies cannot be loaded in combat (but loading them will not use up a spell slot)
    - You are invisible while a Mislead or Project Image clone exists... BUT you cannot attack or cast spells during that time.

    That's already the case with Project Image or are you suggesting that the clone wouldn't be able to cast spells either in future?

    gorgonzolasemiticgod
  • jinxed75jinxed75 Member Posts: 157


    Another good option might be Greater Malison+Chant+Doom. In vanilla, Chant doesn't affect enemies, but I think EE fixes that. I've also heard about triple Flame Arrow/Skull Trap/Remove Magic sequencers, but I also find these uninteresting. SCS enemies often use double Fire Shield+Stoneskin sequencers to discourage attackers.

    Triple Flame Arrows are great to take the edge of strong melee combatants. It also OHKs the Chromatic Demon when he assumes his ice form.
    Triple Skull Traps are devastating to mobs, and you can also catch casters off-guard at the beginning of a battle, depending on how their defences are set up. By far not every caster has Protection from Magic Energy or a Globe active at the beginning. At the very least they are good to destroy any Mislead/PI/Simulacrum clones right off the bat.
    Triple RM is amazingly effective in the late game. Anyone without SI:Abj is going to have a very bad time.



    Here are some combos I like

    Minor Seq

    2x Melfs Acid Arrow, will disable casters for the remainder of the battle if used straight after dispelling their spell protections
    2x Glitterdust, another amazing spell that can render a whole group of casters useless, esp in conjunction with Greater Malison
    2x MM, the classic for many uses
    2x Chromatic Orb for a cheap Finger of Death, usually needs a Malison beforehand, though

    Seq

    Triple Flame Arrow/Skull Traps/Remove Magic, for above mentioned reasons
    Greater Malison + 2 crowd control spells of choice, Confusion, Dire Charm, Glitterdust, take your your pick

    Trigger

    2x Pierce Magic + Breach, great combo to take down a lot of defenses at once. Very effective against SCS Dragons

    For contengencies I usually pick protective magic. The usual supects of Spell Turning, Spell Shield, PfMW, PfME come to mind.


    gorgonzolaThacoBell
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