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Dual Wield vs Sword and Shield

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Comments

  • GozetaGozeta Member Posts: 105
    I always duel wield. Duel wield is just too cool, to quit.

  • DevardKrownDevardKrown Member Posts: 418
    General Rule of Thumb

    Every Class who can only Spent one * in Two Weapon Fighting should stay away from it.
    -2Mainhand and -6 offhand THAC0 will gimp your damage no matter what weapons you wield.

    Sword and Shield as style is Useless. the only Place that extra AC against Missile weapons will help you is Baldurs Gate 1 where ranged enemy's come in abundance and all characters are considerable "Fragile" but even there you are presented with AC against Missiles raising items to stack on a single High AC character who just walks up front and laughs at the Kobold Hordes shooting at his -20 Missile AC.

    Shields themself are great ! if you have a Character using a Ranged weapon (darts throwing daggers/hammers/axes slings) there is no reason not to use a Shield , again this weapons will not activate Sword and Shield making the weapon style Useless, they also wont trigger single weapon style so wearing a shield for its AC and possible other Boni is your only option.

    Even your Dedicated front Line should not Spend any Points in Sword and Shield, the few cases where you might want to use a shield you can just slap it on said character(like to raise elemental resistance against a dragon or to reflect beholder beams etc) otherwise you should use Two weapon fighting. (or if they only can spend one * in there consider Single-Weapon style for the doubled chance to crit.)

    PteranAerakarjackjack
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    Nuin said:

    What's your point? If pure offense was all that mattered then we wouldn't be using spells like Stoneskin/PfMW/Timestop/etc. You are basically bashing one defensive strat (stacking AC) while glorifying another (using defensive spells), all the while claiming that damage output is all that matters in the end.

    My point, as I wrote in my first post; "It's not really about going "all out damage," it's that going shields over dual-wield is giving up a lot of damage for a little defense."

    Arguably, that "little defense" might be more than I first anticipated, which is why I asked to get to read his writeup. I've never heard of or tried out stacking a characters AC to the point of everyone only hitting on a critical strike.

    And yes, if you want to try to convince me that stacking AC is a comparable powergaming strategy over defensive spells, you have a lot of work in front of you. I can agree on that it might be a viable strategy, but if we talk powergaming, as in trying to be as strong as possible, one is outright better.

    As for the bashing, that wasn't how it was meant to come across, but I guess it might have. The forums I usually frequent have a toxicity level that is a lot higher than this one, so my manners when debating is probably heavily influenced by that. I'm genuinely interested in reading about this AC stacking strategy.
    Nuin said:

    Finally, you presume that just because it's using a shield then it MUST be a pure warrior or some variant or that it must have spent the last 80% of the game preparing itself for that role. Which is ridiculous. Stacking AC and using a shield only requires you cast some spells/use some items/move some gear around. Voila, high AC. This is BG2, not IWD2/NWN.

    Well, I might be ignorant in this issue, but my DW warriors ends up with around -10 AC as best in ToB, and thats with the best armors, full dex bonus and some AC boosting gear. And to make the Ravager only hit you on natural crits, you'd need an armor class of what, -32, -35? Something along that line. I don't see how acquiring another 17-20 AC on top of that is something you casually do. I can see it being done, but I can't see how it can be done without considering it an investment.

    Maybe one of you could actually post an example of this kind of tank, with the class/gear/buffs that would be needed to accomplish this? Feels pretty pointless doing this as a pure thought experiment, when there are hard statistics behind it.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,938
    edited April 2016
    The Ravager's THAC0 is -17.

    The minimum displayed AC acts really weird, and I don't know whether it's reflected in actual hits/misses.

    I put the following on a Thief with 18 DEX

    Big Metal Unit
    Shield of the Order
    Tzu-Zan's Bracers
    Helm of Balduran
    Amulet of the Master Harper
    Ring of Protection +3
    Ring of Gaxx
    Cloak of the Sewers
    Axe of the Unyielding

    So theoretically the AC should be -4-10-5-1-1-3-3-2-1-1 = -31, but what actually displays is -24. Now give that character a Violet Potion to drop DEX to 3. Displayed AC is now -17. Sleep it off, chug three Potions of Mind Focusing. Now shows -26. So maybe, I thought, the minimum is -20 plus DEX penalty/bonus? Nope, not that simple!

    Take that character, still showing -26 AC, and remove the Shield. The displayed AC goes down to -27! Hmmmm. Remove the helmet: -27. Put helmet back: -27. Remove the axe: -26.

    So basically, I have no idea what's going on.

    Post edited by joluv on
    mf2112Tenreccjackjack
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    joluv said:

    So basically, I have no idea what's going on.

    From what I understand you were on the right track with the -20 AC limit though. Seems like there is a hard cap that stops some bonuses from working, but not everything. At least that's what we can gather from your experiment and this;

    http://baldursgate.wikia.com/wiki/Tear_of_Bhaal - read the Selfishness part.

    Aerakarjackjack
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,199
    I don't manage to find a link to my previous posts on my phone so I'll write a new one.

    My first argument which is only partially linked to AC, is that damage is totally overrated.
    Damage won't win you fights, spells, utility and durability will.
    Even a poorly optimized character with 5 APR and 20 damage per hit on average is able to kill Dragons or The Ravager in a few rounds.
    Focusing on damage will mainly make your fights faster but it's rarely going to be the thing that will make you win the fight without anyone dead or even reloading.

    As a no-reload player, I feel like power in Baldur's Gate is linked to your probability of winning a fight. If a build wins fights in 16 rounds with a 98% chance, it is in my opinion better than a build who win the same fight in only 3 rounds but with 87% chance.



    Now that this is considered, let's move on to AC.

    AC works in a way that the more you have, the better it becomes, for example.

    You have -10 AC and you're fighting the Ravager which has a THAC0 of -15 or -17 IIRC.
    This AC is terrible, you can have better early in BG2 or even in BG1. That's why it does nothing and that's why increasing it won't do much.

    Going from -10 to -11 in this case will do absolutely nothing, The Ravager will still hit 95% of the time.

    Going from -16 to -17 (let's assume The Ravager has a THAC0 of -15) will make The Ravager on a roll of 2, it now hits you with a 90% probability which means you reduce damage by about 5.3%

    Going from -17 to -18 will reduce damage by about 5.7% on average

    And it keeps increasing slowly at first, then it skyrockets at the end.

    Going from -33 to -34 turns a 15% probability of being hit into a 10% probability, reducing damage by 33% on average
    Finally going from -34 to -35 turns the 10% probability into a 5% probability, reducing damage by 50% on average.

    This final point of AC is worth more than Hardiness, a single point of AC.

    Going from a 25% probability of being hit to a 5% probability thanks to a shield+3 will reduce damage on average by 80%, a shield can translates into (even more with the avoidance of on hit effects) Hardiness+DoE+Barbarians damage reduction. This of course is the optimal situation.

    But as said before, you need to stack AC to feel any difference.

    There is an AC cap in Baldur's Gate which is:

    -20 base -6 Dexterity bonus -2 Style bonus -armors modifiers (which also includes Prot fromEvil and Improved Invisibility)

    Of course I'm not advising to go one weapon style but there are a LOT of character who can reach an AC of -36, and a fair number can do this without even using a shield.

    Example of a Paladin:

    Big Metal Unit AC -10
    Ring of Gaxx+Prot+3
    Shield+4
    Draw upon holy might =>25 Dexterity
    You throw in Improved Invisibility and Prot from Evil and Girdle versus Crushing and you have -35 AC against everything and even -36 against crushing.

    If you wish to the BmU it's really easy to reach this kind of AC, if not you may need to be more creative with Defensive Harmony, Berserk, wondrous Gloves, Blur, (greater) Evasion and so forth.
    There are a lot of way to reach the AC cap, even more in a modded game.

    (To be continued)

    joluvmf2112AerakarJuliusBorisov
  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,938
    Gotural said:

    -20 base -6 Dexterity bonus -2 Style bonus -armors modifiers (which also includes Prot fromEvil and Improved Invisibility)

    Ohh, I forgot my Thief had a pip in Single Weapon style. That explains the drop when I removed the shield.

    Do you know how the cap works with damage type modifiers?

  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,199
    @joluv There is no 'true' AC cap with armors modifiers, you can get as low as you want.
    With the right belt, boots and cloak you could probably get something like -46 or better against missiles

    joluvAerakar
  • RobertMcDuckRobertMcDuck Member Posts: 133

    Robert. Heres my dilemma with Jaheira. 1handers she can use are clubs and scimitars. I personally cant find any +2 scimitars and +3 I'm not even sure exist. Meanwhile there is an easy +4 quarterstaff from Copper Cornet I think it is.

    In trademeet south trading part, there is a club +3 that is pretty neat. You can use Belm +2 for an extra APR (very good choice) and you can go for the spectral Band (+4->+5) in wk level 3.

  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,199
    @joluv Very insightful, it's going to be useful against Ascension Illasera who is an Archer with this mod.

    jackjackJuliusBorisov
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited April 2016
    Gotural said:

    There is an AC cap in Baldur's Gate which is:

    -20 base -6 Dexterity bonus -2 Style bonus -armors modifiers (which also includes Prot fromEvil and Improved Invisibility)

    So that's the formula? What's "base" and what's "modifiers?" For example, Swashbuckler AC bonus, what does that count towards?

    Sounds like "base" is only gear, armor, shields, AC reducing items etc. In which case breaking lower should be pretty easy.
    Gotural said:

    Example of a Paladin:

    Big Metal Unit AC -10
    Ring of Gaxx+Prot+3
    Shield+4
    Draw upon holy might =>25 Dexterity
    You throw in Improved Invisibility and Prot from Evil and Girdle versus Crushing and you have -35 AC against everything and even -36 against crushing.

    If you wish to the BmU it's really easy to reach this kind of AC, if not you may need to be more creative with Defensive Harmony, Berserk, wondrous Gloves, Blur, (greater) Evasion and so forth.
    There are a lot of way to reach the AC cap, even more in a modded game.

    (To be continued)

    Hmm, that is actually not such a big investment. Might try this one out. I'm not sure how much the THAC0 is improved in LoB mode though, but I'm guessing this strategy would be pretty viable if you go all out on it.

    I wasn't even aware that II improved AC, especially not by that much. I use it a bit thanks to the spell targeting immunity, although most of my level 6 spells usually are improved haste/PfMW. Really sick how they managed to stack all the best pre-9 spells in that one level. ^^

    EDIT: Oh, and Mislead... holy damn...

    Gotural
  • sriepsriep Member Posts: 6
    edited February 7
    Sorry for the Necro but switching from NWN2 to NWN1 I realised the problem with dual wield and wanted someone to check my maths.

    Duel wield reduces your to hit by +2, which means if you need a high attack to hit single wield can work out better.

    Say you need 17/20 to hit and do 10 damage with whatever and ignore criticals.
    So Single wield you average 10*(1/20+1/20+1/20+17*0/20) = 1.5 damage a turn.
    Duel wield you average 10*(1/20+19*0/20 ) + 10*(1/20+19*0/20 ) = 1 damage a turn.
    So single wield is better if you need 17 or more to hit, including criticals in the calculation does not change this relation. 16+ to hit is break even here.

    In NWN1 you don't have greater or perfect dual wield so at most levels the situation is much worse than this. Plus one weapon will usually be better than the other.

    So If you have 5 attacks one hand 2 in other and main hand weapon is better than off-hand, than you will likely need to be hitting at least half the time for dual wield to be better.

    Now take into account that you don't have a shield so might not survive to do this attack...

  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,920
    edited February 7
    There are certain shields that are darn good, and some that are situationally quite useful. I shall not name names





    but experienced players will know what they are.

    Pantalion
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 1,516

    General Rule of Thumb

    Every Class who can only Spent one * in Two Weapon Fighting should stay away from it.
    -2Mainhand and -6 offhand THAC0 will gimp your damage no matter what weapons you wield.

    in my experience this is not true when clerics, pure class or multi, are involved.
    a cleric has buffs to make his thac0 the same of the one of a fighter and to rise str to 25 with a bonus of 7 to thac0, even if he has only 1 pip in dw a high level cleric will fight with both the weapons in the negative thac0 range doing more dmg/hit than most of the fighters. a buffed cleric will loose apr compared to a fighter, but will anyway be really effective while DW, with a potential of more than 100dmg/round using gear that can be find in chap2 SoA, as soon as he can cast his first lev5 spell, and only marignally less effective before from the moment he can cast a lev4 one.

    PantalionThacoBell
  • PantalionPantalion Member Posts: 2,137
    1: Stats matter. High strength from gear or item makes two weapon fighting more valuable and can far outstrip any THAC0 penalty from TWF.

    2: Spells matter. If you were going to be using stoneskin or PfMW anyway, the shield becomes less important (or you want high AC for Fireshields), while a stunned enemy doesn't care what your THAC0 is and just takes damage.

    3: Equipment bonuses matter. A lot of weapons offer some fantastic bonuses beyond just strength, like straight DR, immunities, or elemental resistances, it's potentially the more defensive option than sword and board, and if it's Angurvadal or somat, the extra strength potentially outweighs some puny -2 THAC0 penalty.

    4: The enemy matters. More so for 1 pip TWFers, but in terms of their THAC0 too.

    5: It is better to survive and win 100% of the time in 20 rounds than it is to survive and win 25% of the time in 2 rounds.

    ThacoBellArctodusAnonymousHerogorgonzola
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