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Legacy of Bhaal Difficulty

First time player of EE, longtime player of all the IE games. I design my parties very carefully with all good stats (I know not everyone chooses that route which is fine, just trying to give the background). I also have tweaks/mods installed that allow me to run with for example Half-Orc paladins (which is a big advantage). So I figured, I am pretty good at these games, and I have a strong party (for reference, Dragon Disciple, Inquisitor, Cavalier, Berserker, Ranger/Cleric, Swashbuckler including 3 Half-Orcs - LOTS of early melee power). Why not try Legacy of Bhaal?

Even with a full party of six, I almost lost someone in the first fight with Shank, one of the two guys who attacks you in Candlekeep. I figured, OK, this mode will keep me on my toes. At this point my party has almost no armor, little in the way of preferred weapons. I healed up and went to do the "killing rats" quest. Well, it didn't work out that way. Those rats handed me my ass. It wasn't even close. I managed to kill one of them before my entire party was unconscious from the non-lethal damage.

So... is the whole game tuned this ridiculously? Is LOB meant to be like IWD2's Heart of Fury, where you are meant to be higher than level one? Or did they custom tune the rat encounter as a joke because it's non-lethal damage anyway.

I don't want to invest time into this difficulty if I'll be finding more fights like that. Any advice?
Thanks!
-Erronius
CaptRorywoowoovoodooJustLeftgorgonzolaCrevsDaak
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Comments

  • Wraith_SarevokWraith_Sarevok Member Posts: 129
    edited April 2016
    Yeah, don't use Legacy of Bhaal mode. The game doesn't fully explain what it really is. If you remember back to your Icewind Dale days, this is basically a Heart of Fury mode meant for very experienced players that run fully-geared endgame+ characters. It is most definitely NOT meant for a first time playthrough. Insane difficulty is a pretty good challenge for me right now.

    Try running Legacy again after you beat the game (and Siege), and I'm sure you'll enjoy it a whole lot more.
    QuiquemalcolmgorgonzolaCrevsDaak
  • erroniuserronius Member Posts: 27
    Thanks, this clears things up. Yes, I definitely remember HOF, and enjoyed it quite a lot. (In IWD seeing those goblins attacking Targos with a +30 BAB and 4 attacks per round, haha) It would be nice if they would say that in the description.
    RobertMcDuck
  • BalladBallad Member Posts: 141
    edited April 2016
    This might be slightly off-topic, but have you tried running with SCS yet? I find that SCS + Insanity difficulty really hits the sweet spot on the difficulty curve for experienced players. SCS derives its challenge from better AI and tactically improved encounters so you can still start the game with a level 1 protagonist and a party composed of existing NPC's if you're skilled enough. Personally, I'm not a fan of the way HoF/LoB handles difficulty increase - simply giving all monsters godly stats and odds smacks of cheese and kills my suspension of disbelief. But to each their own :smile:
    Caradocbrunardo
  • GrimLefourbeGrimLefourbe Member Posts: 631
    Have you tried ballad? Last time I heard about it, SCS doesn't work yet with SoD though @subtledoctor is on it.
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 4,819
    I haven't tried LoB in BG1 yet but in IWD it is doable from level 1.
    sarevok57
  • BalladBallad Member Posts: 141
    edited April 2016

    Have you tried ballad? Last time I heard about it, SCS doesn't work yet with SoD though @subtledoctor is on it.

    It will install on 2.0/SoD if you first extract the following files in your override folder. I haven't gotten to SoD yet so I can't confirm whether it affects the AI/tactics of the enemies in the expansion, but it's working fine with the main campaign. :smile:
    jackjack
  • GrimLefourbeGrimLefourbe Member Posts: 631
    Oh, they got it done ok. Good to know.
  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    LoB from level 1 would be the same I imagine as HoF level 1.

    1. Ranged weapons for everybody.
    2. Kite enemies around in circles while the rest of the party pew pews.
    3. Focus on getting one characters AC as low as it can go (including a Skald can help a lot with this).

    Is the xp cap still the same in a lob game?

    A fighter/Mage with buffs (mirror image, blur etc) and full plate might be a good option too as a tank (until you can cast spirit armour and stone skin).

    Might also be worth including a dual class or two.

    I've really got to go and download BH1 and SoD soon ... Stupid mobile data limits.
    FinneousPJ
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 2,954

    I haven't tried LoB in BG1 yet but in IWD it is doable from level 1.

    not only that, but HoF mode for IWD is doable at level 1 with 5 fighters and 1 swashbuckler, and I made it all the way to the last battle of level 4 in dragon's eye before I had to dual over some fighters into casters ( although one thing I think that helped is that I modded my game so I have a throwing dagger +1 that deals 1 acid damage and is a returning weapon- but it is quite expensive though so it takes a while to get)
  • Ark_ToleiArk_Tolei Member Posts: 67
    edited April 2016
    The stat gain isn't comparable to IWD2, where a level 1 party is unmissable by enemies, and can only hit on a natural 20 themselves. It's a direct parallel of IWD1, which has a significantly more mild HoF mode, but the actual game design makes it much more favorable for low level parties than IWD1 is.

    The extra hp the enemies have has a static 80 added in, which makes swarms of weak enemies extremely powerful in HoF/LoB. Gigantic swarms of weak enemies make up about 99% of IWD, and are virtually non-existent in BG. Where large swarms do exist in BG, they can be easily split, unlike IWD where they're scripted to attack together.

    BG also allows you to roam freely, and thus take advantage of things like the basilisk garden, ankheg plate, etc. early in the game.

    Baldur's gate isn't favorable to newgame+ because of the tomes, and I'm pretty sure the design intent was for it to be run at level 1, but only by people who want an extreme challenge. The difficulty setting clearly states what stats are impacted in the description with the exception of level, which only impacts spell damage and things like turn undead. It should definitely still be in the description, though.

    The candlekeep rats are broken and completely unrepresentative of the difficulty setting. It is not (directly) an issue with LoB. The issue is that they were given 90% damage resistance by the original devs to prevent them from being chunked, and beamdog didn't remove it. There is no other fight in the game with as much effective hp to whittle through, including the final boss fight.

    Edit: Paragraph order
    Skatan
  • DevardKrownDevardKrown Member Posts: 326
    don't do LoB with a party of LvL1 , its just a chore , Kobolds with 90 HP 1 Shooting everyone.

    do a Black Pits Party and import those Guys and you have way more fun and a reasonable challenge who is not infuriating.
    sarevok57woowoovoodooQuartz
  • Wraith_SarevokWraith_Sarevok Member Posts: 129
    Ark_Tolei said:



    The candlekeep rats are broken and completely unrepresentative of the difficulty setting. It is not (directly) an issue with LoB. The issue is that they were given 90% damage resistance by the original devs to prevent them from being chunked, and beamdog didn't remove it. There is no other fight in the game with as much effective hp to whittle through, including the final boss fight.

    SEE? You see what I mean when I'm constantly saying I'm disappointed in them? They just add things in a broad scope without doing a test playthrough. This is something you can easily spot within 5 minutes of booting up the game.
    Quartz
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 2,954

    don't do LoB with a party of LvL1 , its just a chore , Kobolds with 90 HP 1 Shooting everyone.

    do a Black Pits Party and import those Guys and you have way more fun and a reasonable challenge who is not infuriating.

    even on insane difficulty kobolds sometimes one shot my guys, good times
  • DevardKrownDevardKrown Member Posts: 326
    sarevok57 said:

    don't do LoB with a party of LvL1 , its just a chore , Kobolds with 90 HP 1 Shooting everyone.

    do a Black Pits Party and import those Guys and you have way more fun and a reasonable challenge who is not infuriating.

    even on insane difficulty kobolds sometimes one shot my guys, good times
    kobolds are vicious lil Buggers , they lay ambushes , traps , use Poison , and only fight in odds that are crushingly advantageous for them , i think its sad that the Original developers sort of made them a joke once you leave the fragile lvl 1-2's......granting 7 XP per kill makes even more of a pushover, so every oneshoot they do outside of LoB is earned !
    sarevok57
  • lelag200lelag200 Member Posts: 114
    Yeah, I just tried a solo first-time fresh character. I killed shank while losing only half my HP... it took forever to kill him so I added up Shank's HP... He has somewhere between 90-100 HP!! That is +2500% his normal HP (4). I did the math for Sarevok and said NOPE! Not going there!
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 4,819
    @lelag200 You have made a grave error drawing such a conclusion from one data point. The actual formula is 3*Normal HP +80.
    lelag200
  • IlincaIlinca Member Posts: 19
    As a recommendation, turn damage based on difficulty off if you're starting from level 1. The additional APR make the game more than ridiculous enough in BG1 imo.

    On a regular run as a dragon disciple, I skipped most of the candlekeep quests, avoided imoen. I picked up a +1 sling in beregost and went straight to Korax the Ghoul, killed some basilisks and hit level 5, before I recruited any npcs. I used EE keeper to give Kivan the archer kit and grabbed Minsc and Branawen(animate dead is invaluable for triggering traps and putting out more damage or taking more damage, depending on the situation.)

    Imo LoB takes a bit more knowledge and skipping stuff but I think it's pretty fun so far. Additional observations, the Hit Die for enemies is increased, so sleep, color spray, command, and turn undead are entirely useless.

    As for party composition suggestions, get one party member which you stack AC to the teeth on. For the rest, just assume almost everything is gonna hit them. Everyone else should be at least proficient with a ranged weapon, if not specialized or higher. Archer is an op kit in BG1, at level 5 Kivan has 6 Thaco for me and that's with 17 dex(A player created character would have 19 for -2 more thaco), 7-12 damage with a mundane comp bow and arrows with 2 shots per round. He's more than cleaning up fights while my dragon disciple and cleric disable enemies with grease, web, silence, and hold person.
  • IlincaIlinca Member Posts: 19
    edited April 2016
    lelag200 said:

    Yeah, I just tried a solo first-time fresh character. I killed shank while losing only half my HP... it took forever to kill him so I added up Shank's HP... He has somewhere between 90-100 HP!! That is +2500% his normal HP (4). I did the math for Sarevok and said NOPE! Not going there!

    I backstabbed Shank with a thief, he took 30+ damage and it barely chunked his bar I just noped out of the idea of a solo run lol
    jackjack
  • lelag200lelag200 Member Posts: 114

    @lelag200 You have made a grave error drawing such a conclusion from one data point. The actual formula is 3*Normal HP +80.

    Thanks for the formula. Okay, so Sarevok has 485 HP. Still terrifying. I don't think they needed to go as far as to add 80. Kobolds with 80+ HP is just dumb.
    BelfaldurnikGozeta
  • Wraith_SarevokWraith_Sarevok Member Posts: 129
    I could probably do a solo run with my Fighter/Mage, but only after completely maxing him out and scribing all essential spells. And it will require a LOT of metagame knowledge and cheese; possibly a minor cheat or two (unused items). To say nothing of time.

    Really not worth it unless you're that bored.
    Quartz
  • MerinaMerina Member Posts: 303

    don't do LoB with a party of LvL1 , its just a chore , Kobolds with 90 HP 1 Shooting everyone.

    do a Black Pits Party and import those Guys and you have way more fun and a reasonable challenge who is not infuriating.

    *sigh* Is that what some have done actually? ... Use exported high-level heroes that have finished the game before? I've found some comments on importing heroes at the start of the game instead of creating level 1 heroes. That is possible indeed ... but with IWDEE and HoF mode the only goal was to have fun ... here it results in multiple ways to get an achievement.

    What to expect if starting with high-level heroes? Will they be facing hordes of enemies due to scaling of enemies?
  • BelfaldurnikBelfaldurnik Member Posts: 207
    Watch this! Somebody using a level 27-32 party to get the "Lord of Murder" achievement:
    http://redmine.beamdog.com/issues/21640

    What a pity!
  • Stargazer5781Stargazer5781 Member Posts: 182
    It's a beast. The rats are obviously overpowered even for the difficulty, and that should be fixed. My fistfight with Marle with no one but Kagain to assist was also pretty ridiculous. I'm having a blast though.

    LoB makes the Sword Coast terrifying again. When I left Candlekeep, I felt completely out of my element in a way I haven't felt since the first time I played this game. I was a commoner in a world of monsters. I clung to the road and ran from combat, and every victory has been earned, not by my overpowered character, but by me, the player, through strategy and grit. Even with a min-maxed character, knowledge of the best equipment locations, and a party of 6, I am still probably going to die most of my battles. A deep understanding of the mechanics doesn't allow you to breeze through - it's an entry requirement. Instead of lobbing fireballs and magic missiles galore, and watching enemies melt, they take the hit and keep coming. Spells I would never prepare are now my defaults. I play my mages as "god wizards," altering the landscape enough to delay and weaken enemies in hopes of helping my fighters take out our foes one at a time. It's not that the game encourages cheese now - it's that cheese is a minimum requirement, and you have to come up with strategies in addition to the cheese. It's exactly what I'd want "impossible mode" in Baldur's Gate to be.
    CaptRorylongjo83
  • DurenasDurenas Member Posts: 470
    Oh I fought Marl on LoB mode too just for kicks. He kept oneshotting me to the floor. Up i'd get, he'd knock me down again. Over and over until I would get the occasional lucky shot in. 15 minutes later...
    lelag200Stargazer5781CaptRory
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited April 2016
    lelag200 said:

    Yeah, I just tried a solo first-time fresh character. I killed shank while losing only half my HP... it took forever to kill him so I added up Shank's HP... He has somewhere between 90-100 HP!! That is +2500% his normal HP (4). I did the math for Sarevok and said NOPE! Not going there!

    Sarevok himself is actually a pushover, just like he always was. One wand of monster summoning and he's occupied for enough time for you to bash his skulls in many times over. His entourage was a bit challenging though, but by far the most difficult part of the game is right at the start, when a single bandit is a certain teamwipe.

    Though I agree the HP formula is pretty stupid. It basically means that the game gets easier the further you play. I'm currently playing BG2 LoB now, and it's in no way close to as difficult as early BG1. It's actually not difficult at all once you realize how strong summons are. :/

    I could probably do a solo run with my Fighter/Mage, but only after completely maxing him out and scribing all essential spells. And it will require a LOT of metagame knowledge and cheese; possibly a minor cheat or two (unused items). To say nothing of time.

    Really not worth it unless you're that bored.

    Just out of curiosity, how were you planning on dealing with the dobbleganger ambush and the sarevok fight in a solo run? Even at max level, I have a hard time seeing that happen, there aren't as many cheese items in the game as there is in BG2.
  • lelag200lelag200 Member Posts: 114
    @Tenrecc
    That's what I've been figuring out, the game does get easier as you go on. I picked up NPCs as they are a must when starting fresh. Mulahey and his minions are crazy at the start. His minions were the worst part, each of them (what like 14?) having ~110+ HP. That adds up to almost 2000HP of bad guys in one room. Not an easy thing for a low level party with few special items.

    Question, do your summons get that outrageous HP added?
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 4,819
    @lelag200 Summons de get added HP but I heard someone say it's less than what monsters get.
    JuliusBorisov
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