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Honest discussion about Legacy of Bhaal

Hello my fellow forumites

The patch v2.0 (and v2.1) has been out for a few weeks now and a few threads about the LoB mode were already created, containing a lot of speculations and many advices to defeat it. We even have a thread dedicated to powergaming in LoB mode.

But today I would like to open a discussion about what does this difficulty setting truly does and the gaming experience it creates.

First, a reminder of what LoB does:

enemies' HP * 3 + 80
-5 to saves (?)
-5 to THAC0 (?)
+12 levels for some checks
+ 1 APR (?)
Summons' HP * 2 + 20

So as you can see, these changes are mirroring the Heart of Fury mode from Icewind Dale (except for summons) but so far most players including myself don't exactly know what it does. I searched on the internet on many sites and asked in different threads in the Road to v2.0 back then and I was not able to find a strict, precise definition of the Legacy of Bhaal mode. This is I think a minor problem in itself but let's continue forward.

Here I'm quoting the official Siege of Dragonspear website :

"Legacy of Bhaal Mode : A difficulty setting offering tactical challenges only the most skilled of players can hope to defeat"

This appears on the website since the extension's announcement.

But is it true?

In my opinion, the Legacy of Bhaal mode doesn't offer any "tactical" challenges, it just increases the HP of your enemies by a enormous amount and that's it mostly.
It slows the game down and doesn't change the gameplay experience in a good way to my mind.

Though I agree that it offers some challenges. Of course a Dragon with 530 HP instead of 150 HP is stronger and thus the game is harder, depending on your party setup it can be a lot more difficult or it can simply be longer.

But is this kind of difficulty setting fun? Do you really enjoy fighting 83HP rats in Candlekeep?

Put in another way, do you think the Legacy of Bhaal mode is an interesting and fun difficulty setting?

Because I think it isn't, and to be honest, when I look back at the quote I posted above, I think the developers were actually thinking of something completely different when they first thought of the Legacy of Bhaal.
Maybe they were thinking about a "super-SCS" mode, which could explain the "tactical" challenges that only the most "skilled" players could hope to defeat, but because of time restrictions, they gave up and instead replicated the Heart of Fury difficulty in Baldur's Gate.

Another reason I think the LoB mode was originally designed as an improved SCS is because of the Insane difficulty changes in SoD. As you may know, moving the difficulty slider in SoD actually change the number of enemies spawning during battles, including new foes (like a caster in a group of fighters) which does offer new tactical challenges!

I think this is really good and a lot better than simply buffing enemies' stats to the point they don't make any sense whatsoever in a D&D setting.

So I would also like to ask Beamdog another question: is the Legacy of Bhaal mode final? Will it receive others updates or will it stay like this?

Because if it is going to get some more love, then it's excellent and I'm eager to see what you have in store for us.

But if that's not the case, no big deal. But I would like to know about the community's opinion about it and what do you think is an interesting difficulty setting.

Have a nice day!

PS: I apologize for my English, especially as I wrote all of this on my phone.

SkatanJuliusBorisovSmilingSwordlolienAlonsoCrevsDaaksemiticgodSpaceInvaderbrianpotter
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Comments

  • kensaikensai Member Posts: 216
    edited April 2016
    In sod lob difficulty was fun. But then my 1lvl party faces 5 83hp rats with 90 fis resistances...
    That really annoyed me.



    And then 10 lvl Silke which hits everytime and has stoneskin precasted from scs but don't have it memorised.
    I don't know why but all combined this suddenly starts to kill all fun for me.
    Challenge is good but there should be limits and they should be at least more rewarding imho.

    Post edited by kensai on
    SmilingSwordCrevsDaak
  • kensaikensai Member Posts: 216
    lunar said:

    If only the devs could include scs style ai changes as an extra difficulty option in game, instead of pseudo heart of fury mode. That would be, like, the best thing ever.

    well you always can instal Scs on bg1. And BTW SCS in not only about AI, computer starts cheating a little.

    CrevsDaak
  • kensaikensai Member Posts: 216
    @bengoshi great work with lob solo jester. Can't even imaging playing that without range and kiting.
    Hope you'll find a way to beat that LOB Sarevok.

    BTW you could also install item revisions, this adds fis resistances to armor so enemy melee will be even harder to beat.

    JuliusBorisovBelgarathMTH
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Thank you for the feedback.

    I'm not saying that Legacy of Bhaal doesn't make the harder, it definitely does in my opinion except if you are playing with a Shadowdancer.

    But I still think the way it increases the difficulty could be improved to make it more interesting.

    Simple example: instead of HP * 3 + 80 we could get HP * 4 +20 which would prevent Rats, Gibberlings and Kobolds to become the most feared enemies in the realms, while making boss battles even more difficult.

    What do you think:

    -Makes the game harder? (More enemies, new abilities, more HP, more damage? Etc)
    -Is an interesting difficulty setting?

    I may try to create a mod this summer based on the feedback to makes the game more difficult.

    JuliusBorisovSmilingSwordlolienAlonso
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    @semiticgod To a degree, I do feel the same way; but to a degree I also disagree. Maybe my play before was way too linear (always was a fan of right-click-attack-afk) but I find myself using considerably more things in LoB than I did before. Heck, I barely even bothered taking Clerics along at all back in the day; now I'm buffing left and right. Same with CC spells - if it had a save on it (and nearly everything does) I usually never used it. Now I actually find myself casting Hold Person or Silence, just to get through certain battles.

    Perhaps if you actually used those things before, it's not much of a difference now. I can definitely see that.

    JuliusBorisovGoturalsemiticgodlolien
  • MrSextonMrSexton Member Posts: 369
    Better AI, smarter monster, larger enemy parties etc. are all good and I definately approve of that (even letting enemies have even higher HP) but having rats with 83 HP is just f*cking ridiculous. Not all creatures/animals/beasts should have a higher HP.
    As several of you have written above, everything just takes a lot longer and you have to rest after every single battle. It just becomes boring...
    Good idea, but it still needs a lot of work.
    /J

    GoturalSmilingSword
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    I can imagine that it's more of a chore in BG1, when you actually don't have a lot to work with. Standing there for 2 minutes per rat, hoping you don't get hit... yeah that can get boring.

    BG2 is a pretty different story, though.

    Gotural
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 10,968
    @Lord_Tansheron: I think we have innately different styles. Your parties tend to have lots of fighter levels and are very strong in terms of physical damage output and tanking. My parties are always very caster-heavy, with no real tanks and low HP across the board. My first no-reload run of BG2, the Party of Spiders run, is a good example, as it was based on the concept of playing spellcasters as if they were fighters. Even when I was building a high-damage team, I shunned all fighter classes.

    I always favored parties that relied heavily on disablers--like my current one, which is based on using EE's new specialization save penalties to increase the effectiveness of Emotion, Feeblemind, Chromatic Orb, Hold Undead, Sunfire, and Wail of the Banshee. Although I'm abusing the hell out of Wands of Lightning with Boon of Lathander and Wands of Cloudkill, EE save penalties are the reason I chose the party I did (the party's Cleric of Lathander and Tyr levels were originally only there for Chant and Doom!).

    Another example: we both share an affection for Archers, but for different reasons. You've always appreciated the Archer's raw power, while I've only ever been interested in Called Shot's STR drain and save penalties. Hence your single-classed Archers and my dual-classed Generic Archer/Mages and Archer/Thieves.

    JuliusBorisovGoturalSmilingSwordlolien
  • GodGod Member Posts: 1,117
    Tried LoB. Seen there's no extra XP like in IWD's HoF. Went back to playing HoF.

    GoturalSmilingSwordjackjacklolien
  • SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827
    I played LoB till about level 5 and finished the mines. I personally can't stand each encounter taking so very long to finish. I don't really know if it can even be said that LoB is more tactical, I mean for most early trash mobs all I ended up doing was using horror instead of sleep. This tactic was just as effective as sleep but infinitely more annoying because chasing around 10 terrified kolbolts is never fun.

    Yes I know horror is a level 2 spell and sleep a level 1 spell but getting a few early level from basilisks doesn't change no matter how much HP and resistances they have. They are always going to be free bags of exp.

    I must say that killing that douchebag flaming fist guy chasing Viconia was one of hardest fights I've had to do in BG. I was level 1 with Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, Monty and Xzar. The main problem was if he targeted Vicky. If he did it was a instant reload because he would kill her in 2 hits. It took poison, traps, a wand of magic missiles and both of Vickys commands to not be saved against for me to actually win. A fight that normally takes me a matter of seconds took over half an hour.

    The AI is still dumb so 5 dudes with range and 1 tank to kite works for most battles, those battles just take a very long time to finish. I actually stopped my LoB run because things where taking way too long, I want to play SoD sometime in the near future.

    Also Ankhegs attacking for 40+ dmg a hit and almost always saving against command got real old real fast, I actually found it easier to farm Sirines " At that point I had Baeloth and changing fireballs, while keeping them poisoned worked really well." What I wrote doesn't look like it's a real thing that actually happened but with my level 5 party, Ankhegs could still one shot everybody besides Kagain. :neutral:

    Gotural
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087

    The AI is still dumb

    That's the central issue, and why SCS is still pretty much required to actually provide a challenge. Luckily we have that for BG (unlike IWD, which doesn't) so there's that.

    Personally I love LoB + SCS, but it's definitely true that there's some issues with it as well, especially RP/philosophical ones.

    SmilingSword
  • SmilingSwordSmilingSword Member Posts: 827
    @Lord_Tansheron have you gotten LoB + SCS to work together?

    I've tried a bunch and SCS tells me it's installed but nothing seems to work. I've used modmerge and the quickfix @subtledoctor made, nothing seems to make it work.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087

    @Lord_Tansheron have you gotten LoB + SCS to work together?

    I've tried a bunch and SCS tells me it's installed but nothing seems to work. I've used modmerge and the quickfix @subtledoctor made, nothing seems to make it work.

    First time hearing that issue, aside from the one fix you mentioned, it worked as-is perfectly fine.

    FinneousPJJuliusBorisovBlackraven
  • DevardKrownDevardKrown Member Posts: 421
    i Tried it , Single lvl 1 Swashbuckler with intend to be dualed to mage... in candlekeep my sword broke im stuck in a corner with rats... i actually fist punched them dead within an hour of letting the game run in the background , thinking it was just an oversight of the mode...but then Kobolds started one shooting me and i couldn't fight a single enemy with a whole npc party of 4-5 people so i just quit..
    Made a Thief/Mage in EE Keeper gave him 50 haste scrolls , and 5 Elf Archer's ..all max stats and best BG1 Gear and breezed the mode through in an hour just doing the main story.

    if lazy stat raising is the Challenge then lazy stat raising is the Answer.

  • ArthasArthas Member Posts: 503
    I tried it but i don't like it. Unless beamdog's developers try to improve it, I doubt I'll play it

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    It does seem that LoB is a more enjoyable experience in BG2 than it is in BG1. The weapon-breaking thing especially seems like something that just does not mesh well at all with LoB fighting.

    comebackhomejackjacksemiticgod
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,612
    But at least the weapons break adding realism to the game. If you go through the game vanilla style then you are so quick with magical weapons that the sword coast problems seem to be a non issue

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    lroumen said:

    But at least the weapons break adding realism to the game. If you go through the game vanilla style then you are so quick with magical weapons that the sword coast problems seem to be a non issue

    True, but I think LoB (deliberately) pushes the boundaries of realism in favor of gameplay experience. Unless you think whacking a rat for hours until your sword breaks is particularly realistic ¬_¬

    ArtonaSmilingSwordsemiticgod
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,612
    Haha. Rats with elephant skin.

    I was poking a bit of fun here. In all seriousness, the lob mode needs a lot of balancing.

    SmilingSwordjackjack
  • brunardobrunardo Member Posts: 501
    So LOB is just like HOF, played the dungeons and thief backstabbed minsc and chunked him so thought that was pretty tactical....and a little unfair

  • brunardobrunardo Member Posts: 501
    More hit points doesnt make it tactical though like SCS though?

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