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Doubting the Shadows

TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
edited August 2016 in Challenges and Playthroughs
So recently I got into a very heated debate about Mage/Thief and how strong they were later on in the series, as well as reading threads about people finding it to be an underwhelming class. Personally I've always found thieves to be very strong in any combinations, so this run will be both for my amusement since it was many years since I soloed a Mage/Thief, and to showcase that they are indeed a top-tier solo class.

It'll be a pure, simple Thief/Mage solo run on insane, no mods, no SoD, the challenge being to make it an as easy and smooth run as possible. I know that it's not really a special playthrough and maybe doesn't suit the forum, but I really wanted this one documented for future debates about the power of the Mage/Thief, so I hope it's fine.


Intro (this post)
Getting some gold, exp and tomes
Running through the game
Slythe, Doppelgangers and Sarevok

BG2 SoA:
Chateau Irenicus
Trademeet and Shadow Thieves
Planar Prison, Windspeare Hills and Cheesekraag
Sewers, Mind Flayer Nest and the Guarded Compound
Twisted Rune Improv Run
Kangaxx and learning about Daystar
Watcher's Keep 1 & 2
Watcher's Keep 3
Watcher's Keep 4
Watcher's Keep 5 & Demogorgon
Running through the remains (Chapter 3, 4, 5 & 6)
Bye Irenicus, Hello ToB

BG2 ToB:
Arcana Archives robbery, Gromnir and Yaga-Shura
Abazigal's Lair
Sendai, Balthazar and the Ravager
Ravager youtube guide!

Alright then, let's get started.

I was pretty lucky by getting a 93 after just a few rolls, since the class is pretty dependant on stats I didn't want to skimp. I could've optimized it a bit more perhaps, but with tomes and Lum's I'll have more than enough of everything and getting there shouldn't be a problem.

Went with Elf for early game bonuses to THAC0, Thieving abilities and Sirene slaying abilities, as well as still keeping ADHW and Finger of Death as options for later. Neutral Evil to leave all Tears options open and pick up a free Robe of Archmagi from Davey. And well, it suits RP reasons as well since I'll be thieving and doing a lot of selfish things.

Went with Short Swords and Daggers as proficiencies for obvious reasons.

So, onto the run itself.

Starting off in Candlekeep, rob a few places, do a few quests, avoid a few guards and we're out of the gates with a slight amount of gold and experience. Immediately outrun Mr. Ho There Wanderer, and make our way to the north.

Pick up the Ring of Wizardry from the tree, backstab a few Hobgoblin, return the Ring and continue on.

With 40HIS/30MS hiding is fairly easy. Into the Ankheg nest we go, grab the loot, sneak out, return the farmers son and give him some more gold. And suddenly we have fireballs.

Straight southwest from Nashkel, we find the goblin gang which are easily disposed with a fireball and a backstab.

Whistling Sword is ours (+2), and we're set on weapons untill we can afford the dagger of venom.

While we're in the area we of cource grab Bassilus while we're at it. Another fireball to dispose of his army, 2 backstabs and one Aghanazzar(?) and he's finito. Off to collect the reward, while learning something new, that Fireballs and Aghanazzar's have seperate charges on the staff, meaning I get 12 of each instead of 12 combined. That'll definitely make things easier along the road.

So, about fifteen minutes into the game we're halfway to our dagger and level 2/3. Enjoying it so far, but unfortunatly havn't got the time to continue right now.

Post edited by Tenrecc on


  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    So, after doing Nashkel mines it's about time to gear up a bit. Ring of Sune sells for 5k, Brawling Hands for 3.5k, a few quests here and there to raise Rep (still just 15 though). Also running through collecting Tomes since all 3 pre-BG ones are easily accessible while invisible.

    The tactic is still very easy, backstab what you can, Wand of Fire the rest.

    Especially important is the Lighthouse run, since the Sirens grants 2k exp a pop and will waste enough time trying to Charm you for you to kill them, it's a free 12000 exp boost.

    After that quick run we're at 21000 gold and have just picked up the Dagger of Venom. Time to try it out, muehehe.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    Well, as expected the game took a turn to the easier once we started getting some good equipment and levels. And since we doesn't really need gold or exp, we can just bypass most of the boring things.

    These guys are pretty nice since they don't attack unless you speak to the guy at the door. Also nice with the new gauntlets in the chest, removing the necessity to visit Firewine Bridge.

    But, well, of cource there are still some things that are worth picking up.

    After that, things sped up quite a lot. Soloing with the boots and a good amount of invis means it's straight to Davey, bait his low amount of spells and then take the old man in a 1v1 fist fight and get your neat Robe.

    Back into Baldur's Gate, pick up all the tomes, kill some Dobbelgangers (with Mirror Image and Haste at your disposal now, you can right click lesser enemies easily), skip the Cloudwulfe gang (They're a bit too tough to beat without cheesing with fireball spam or endless backstabs, so might as well), and then rush through chapter 6 because there's nothing you really need there. Just be sure to pick up the two last tomes and another Fireball wand. (Just realized I did forget that wand, but it shouldn't matter).

    So, next time will come the first actually interesting fights; Slythe and Krystin, Dobbelganger Ambush and of cource, Big S himself. Then it's off to BG2 to start the real fun.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited July 2016
    Alright, time to close the first game and head off into BG2 where the real fun begins.

    First we head off to Sorceries Sundries and stack up on potions and wands, better safe than sorry you know. Also picked up a dozen or so spells for BG2 which might or might not be useful, but since gold doesn't carry over, one might as well.

    The important items at this point of the game is one Potion of Magic Blocking, Sandthief's Ring, Wand of Monster Summon, Web and Haste spell. The rest is just bonuses.

    First of was Slythe and Krystin, which turned out to be a joke. One Backstab, one potion of invisibility, a second backstab, poison hits, we could run away to stealth but he died to the poison. Sure he is the only character fast enough to catch you with boots of speed and he hits like a truck but he also has low HP and AC and Krystin doesn't spawn if he doesn't get to speak.

    Ohwell, onto the Dobbelganger ambush.

    Summon a bunch of critters, haste both them and you, then Web the last 3 peasants which means they won't turn into Dobbelgangers before the spell runs out, giving you time to fight them 3 and 3 instead of 6 at once. Your hasted monsters and you can easily dispatch them. Heal Belt with your innate heal wound ability in between dobbelgangers.

    Afterwards, "kite" Belt to the other side of the room before he speaks to you; this way he won't attack Sarevok since he's outside of his sight, and you only lose the fight if Sarevok kills you or Belt. Let him tire himself out by cleaning up fists and summons and eventually he'll retreat.

    So, stealth through the maze and city and right into the church. Trigger Sarevok to begin the fight and return to begin with taking out Semaj.

    Potion of Magic Blocking makes you immune to spells 5th level or below, so... all spells. Since he's a mage with bad AC, dual-wield SSoB and Venom dagger with haste for 3 APR while dispelling illusions with your thief abilties (50% atm) and he's dead way before even one potion runs out. Just make sure to kite him back if he teleports so you don't aggro the entourage.

    And finally, Sarevok himself.

    Easiest fight in the game, pretty much. Backstab and run away so you only aggro him, then just run away, use a potion of invisibility(3) or sandthief's ring(7) for 11 backstabs all in all. Despite resisting the poison every single time he died to I think 4-5 backstabs.

    So yeah, that's BG1, in what I think was the quickest and easiest solo run I've ever done. If I hadn't gone for tomes and other things not really needed, I think this could be done within an hour or two. Also it's all without zone abusing, load abusing, fireball out of sight spam and other cheesy strategies.

    Wand of Fire, Wand of Monster Summoning, Boots of Speed, Sandthief's Ring and Potion of Magic Blocking. OP shit. ^^

    Oh well, onto BG2 we go, stacked with spells and full tomes. After all, this debate/challenge mainly resolve around ToB fights, so I'm kind of eager to get there. Sendai and Ravager are the two I'm thinking will be most difficult. We'll see.

    Post edited by Tenrecc on
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited July 2016
    So, into BG2 we go. I'll cover the first chapters of this game pretty loosely and more generally than the latter, because describing every gang of hobgoblins and every ambush would turn this redundant and boring quicker than Gaelan Bayle can say "Coo!" Besides, the fun doesn't really start untill we get the higher level spells and HLAs.

    First off we bid farewell to our +3 Shortsword, Boots of Speed and fireball wands and have to look for other means to progress. On the other hand, we've picked up 4th level spells now. Which means it's time to grow some legs.

    Starting off, in the early levels we'll follow a pretty simple formula:

    1 - Sneak through them. Most mobs this early on doesn't grant anywhere near decent enough XP to bother with. And we're fairly limited in our mage spells, so we can't go around tossing fireballs at everything.

    2 - Polymorph Self: Sword Spider is our ace and more than enough to make us decent fighters with our 5 APR and poison attacks. If needed, combine with Web to hold enemies (spiders are immune), and/or defensive spells such as Mirror Image and Stoneskin.

    3 - Rely on other spells. MMM is another spell that negates our lousy APR and THAC0 and deals a lot of damage for a single spell. Horror, Fireballs, and Sunfire for AoE.

    So far I've only done Chateau Irenicus, pickpocketed the Ring of Regen, done then Circus Tent and Hendak and is currently in the Sewers. Will update once we get to some interesting fights.

    Post edited by Tenrecc on
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    So, Sewers snuck through, slavers killed and suddenly we're sitting on 24k gold. Ring of Human Influance and Friends spell lets us purchase Robe of Vecna for 21k, which is our first big upgrade. Being able to cast invisibility, mirror image, stone skin, fireball, skull trap, sunfire etc instantly is a huge step up.

    Now we're off hunting for exp mostly. And since we're not interested in fighting too much we'll opt for the ones that can be done with as little as possible.

    So, first up: Trademeet. This place is excellent for a few reasons. First, easy quest line. You don't have to lift a finger in the first quest, just meet Cernd at the top of the map while stealthing through everything else. Second, you can do a 2 in 1 and kill the Rakasha while you're at it. Third, since we put out fourth proficiency into Scimitars in order to get Belm/Scarlet Ninja-to, we'll want to get Belm asap.

    So, proceed to Trademeet while picking up Daystar from the Lich (you don't have to kill him), make your way to the Druid Grove, pick up Belm and kill the Rakashas.

    These guys aren't the easiest since they're immune to all our spells, but that's where backstabbing comes in. With one hide in shadows and 5 invisibility spells, you'll hit the two backstabs needed to finish her off and run. Should've used DUHM to get that str bonus THAC0 but it worked easily anyway.

    Back into Trademeet and turn in the two quests, and we're off to do the Luraxxol thingie. The skeletons in the crypt is why we got Daystar - not needed but definitely makes it faster -, so get the neck thingy and run. I accidentally managed to pull three skeleton warriors out from it that continued to kill some guards and whatnot. Oh well, good thing I rolled an evil character, hue hue.

    So, back into the Luraxxol estate and I managed to break the game.

    Skull trap is one of my favourite spells in the game and I was trying to get creative with their placements. Turns out if you kill both of them too effectively so they don't have time to initiate their dialogue you'll have to kill the game with the commando manager. Just two fun short sidenotes. ^^

    Although, to expand a bit on why Skull Trap is amazing, it deals the same damage as Fireball although no cap at lvl10 (afaik), and the damage is magical instead of fire which means a whole lot less creatures are resistant to it. Combine with one Minor Globe to make yourself immune and Vecna to make it instant and you're just running around blowing things up without any problems.

    Back into Athkatla after clearing out that and the skinner quest. Time to be thievy and do the Shadow Thieves questline. Nothing challenging here really, the only one remotely so is the Cowled Wizard you're supposed to kill. He's prebuffed with some defensive things so backstabs are not an option. However, the fool isn't prebuffed with Minor Globe, so one Skull Trap into two Sunfires is enough to chain him down easily.

    So, after finishing these two quest lines we're closing in on Mislead. We're at 1M exp currently, with 1.5M being what is needed for 6th level spells.

    Right now I'm getting tempted to bring out the cheeses, to be honest, and down Firkraag and Kangaxx. I mean, if it's well-known stuff and Beamdog hasn't nerfed it it's not really cheese, right? Right? >.> Also, the option is to wait for higher levels and kill them with that, but how impressive is spike trapping a dragon?

    We'll see. I've tried to stay away from cheeses as much as possible, but you must have *some* fun...

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited July 2016
    Next on our list, before we start consider heading out to Spellhold is Planar Prison. Why? So many reasons. Boots of Speed being the most obvious one, but also Kundane to combine with Belm for an unbuffed 4 APR, the +1 THAC0 gauntlets, the Rod of Resurrection and a sneaky little surprise we'll have fun with later on in the series. Most people can probably figure out what it is, but anyway.

    Our strategy hasn't really changed all that much. Sword Spider takes care of casters, Backstab with instant invisibility spell, Skull Trap (with Globe) and Sunfire are our main damage dealers. Most of the more casual enemies are a joke at this point, and even semi-challenging enemies such as the Master of Thralls and the Cambion gets 2-shotted by Skull Traps. That spell just doesn't care, lol.

    After clearing that up we're off to Windspear to say hi to Firkraag, mainly because if you don't bother with the rest of the dungeon, it's an incredibly short quest. After sunfiring the phantom knights you can pretty much run straight to Firkraag, Swordspider the caster dude and be done with it. However, as I said, you must have some fun with it, and since I don't need anything from Firkraag the option would've been to leave him there... which felt kind of wrong.

    Yeah, a bit cheese warning here.

    First, we have the setup. A bunch of Skull Traps (of cource) since they lasts indefinitely, along with Mirror Image, Stone Skin, Minor Globe and Resist fear. I think you can see where we are going with this.

    He's not much of a runner, so you sort of have to motivate him to it. You should be safe against most of his spells unless he gets a nice dispel and gets you with a fear or fire breath. And Charm, of cource, if you're not an elf. It's not a fool safe strategy, but this isn't a no-reload run so it's fine. If you want to do it more carefully you can bait all his spells with Animate Dead summons or similar things. After 5-10 spells or so however he should haste himself and start chasing.

    Oh, and be sure to toss him a few Lower Resistance while you're at it. In this case I settled for 2.

    Tadaa. Just don't be like me and forget the remaining Skull Traps and run in to grab the sword. I hadn't saved either, just screenshotted, so had to do it again. :P

    Oh, and as a side note handing in the child granted me that lovely 1.5M exp so now we've got Mislead. The thief part has been taking the back seat to the mage for quite a while now, so it's definitely his turn to shine.

    Post edited by Tenrecc on
  • dockaboomskidockaboomski Member Posts: 440
    edited July 2016
    Impressive, @Tenrecc . Mage/thief is a favorite among my PnP crew, keep up the good work! It'd be neat to see how you'd do with SCS installed.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    @dockaboomski As a thief/mage solo? I've never actually played that mod in particular, but had plans for it. Mostly I imagine it'd require a different path to avoid prebuffed mages, save Thief run for later due to Rayic etc. You'd need SotM, which in itself would be tricky to get due to the 2 mages guarding it, or access to higher level spells with contingencies and ruby rays I'd imagine.

    Unless I wanted to get cheesy. Simulacrum+ProtMagic still works, which would turn the whole run laughable. ;)

    It does sound quite fun, and I was planning on running SCS after this run. Might do it, but right now I'm satisfied with a normal run. Still not entirely sure on what works any longer, and I'm a little rusty on the class. Not entirely sure how I'll down some of the ToB bosses such as Sendai och Ravager, but I've got a few ideas in mind!

    Thanks for reading though! Fun with more Mage/Thief fans :)

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited July 2016
    WOO! Crazy run tonight, but really exciting and quite educational for myself. Turns out I remembered a few things wrong, and found out something I should've known all along but didn't, which cost me 30000 gold. Oh well, good thing solo running makes you pretty rich.

    So, as I mentioned in the last post we've finally gotten Mislead and it's time for this run to take off. First thing I learned today was that the smith in Beregost sells *a lot* of good spells, and so does the guys in the red tent. ProME, Mislead, Pierce Magic, True Sight, Spell Immunity, ProMW, PW:Silence and Improved Haste. Some for now, some for later.

    Next up, it's time to finish our shopping list of Athkatla items. Ring of Gaxx is the first that comes to mind, so we pick up 3 Protection from Undead scrolls and set out.

    Down in the Sewers I just can't hold myself though. Mislead is too fun. So we begin with chunking the adventurer party down there, and then we head into the Mindflayer nest. Yes, they can instakill you with stats drain. Yes, they're heavily magic immune. Their weakness? Can't see invisible and can be backstabbed.

    Turns out the Alhoon and his half a dozen mind flayers in the opposing room actually were a little tricky since their Psionic Blast is instant cast and hits invis, so I managed to get hit by that once or twice. Still, nothing really challenging, so that's a nice chunk of exp.

    Next up, I think that since I'm in the neighbourhood, we might as well get Celestial Fury. Unfortunately for the party they have nothing that can see invis, so they're quickly chunked. However, when I go to retrieve my blade I can't, and suddenly I get backstabbed for 90% of my health. Turns out they have a thief too, and one that almost gets me. She pops invis potions like a madman and just won't show, which reminds me ironically about myself and my use of Mislead.

    However, she's just a thief. I've got the mage part too, and she goes down to two skull traps, invis or not.

    Next we're into the hidden nest of the unseeing, and while running there we run into the trap with the web and the shadows. While it's not a challenging fight in the least, I've always found it amusing, since I can just turn into a spider to avoid the trap, and the net serves the shadows to me on a plate. Just one of those ways to turn the game against itself with all the tools you have which makes the game as fun as it is.

    So, protection of undead scrolls against Liches. You know how it goes.

    So, I was fast enough between the two liches that holds Kangaxx body that I could kill them with just one scroll, which gave me an idea. I'm next to the Twisted Rune right? Why not give it a go, despite not really being prepared for it? What's the worst that could happen?

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited July 2016
    Into the Twisted Rune we go and make a simple setup. We know that we're about to face a Lich, a Vampire, a Beholder, a Wizard and a random dude.

    The plan is simple, Skull Traps on the Beholder since he can see through invis. The bonus protection from Undead scroll to deal with the lich and vampire. The mage... well... uh... we'll get to that.

    (EDIT: Upon re-reading my own post I realize that the beholder can't see through invis. My mislead clone must've gotten killed or removed somehow, since the random dude sees me straight away too and he definitely doesn't see through invis. I'll leave the commentary unchanged though.)

    Up and summon the Lich. Realize you're protected from Undead so he can't see you and initiate the dialogie. Realize you've no other save. Reload and do the exact same setup again but wait with the scroll.

    And go!

    First off, the Beholder doesn't die to the Skull traps since I can only plant 4. Oh god. Whack him with your subpar thief weapons out of panic, and it works. He's down.

    Meanwhile, Shangalar and the vampire is just chilling, having no idea why their beholder friend is taking a nap. Random dude goes in to be a hero.

    Better get that Shangalar dude before the scroll wears off. Random dude died somewhere along the lines to, I wasn't really paying attention to him. Vampire next up.


    Oh... you're killing each other. Neat.

    Things have chilled out a bit so I decide to try my luck. My 10% MR from Vecna blocks a finger of death. Luck confirmed. She mantles herself, breach it. She mantles again, argh I only brought one breach.

    Down she goes however, and I head for the exit while being chased by random genie who either wants to sing me songs about me never having a friend like him or murder me in cold blood. I didn't stick around to find out. Think it's about 50/50.

    Out in the fresh air and we've got a pulse. That was definitely not the calm calculating fight a Thief/Mage run does best, but it was pretty amusing.

    So, Kangaxx it is.

    Post edited by Tenrecc on
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited July 2016
    One protection from undead scroll left, and Kangaxx is the target. The lich goes down easily, but Kangaxx himself is a bit trickier since he requires +4 weapons to damage.

    So, first the plan is Melf's Minute Meteors since they hit like +5. With Improved Haste we're at 10 attacks per round, and they should hit for 8 damage on average, so 80 damage per round. Easy peasy.

    Hmm. I didn't remember him having the piercing resistance of skeletons. But I guess he sort of is one. He does have a regen and I've only 4 MMM spells, so yeah, this isn't going to work.

    Next try, we acquire the Short Sword of Mask for sister Garlena in Watcher's Keep. It's a +4. Now it should be easy, right, with 6 APR?

    NOPE. At about 30% hp he gets scared and starts flying all around the place like an annoying insect. And he's pretty darn fast, so fast I can't keep up and only gets a swing in now and then, which is definitely not enough to kill him. I try to corner him to stop it, but the map doesn't allow for it anywhere that I can find, and now he has regened up to 50% hp, way faster than I can hit. At this pace my scroll will wear off way before I can kill him, so this doesn't really work either.

    So I start to consider how I can kill him. Protection from Magic Scroll is the obvious answer since it doesn't turn you invisible, just immune to his spells. Spell Immunity works the same. But neither of them works very well on his first form, and I dislike running away to rest to kill things, it feels disingenious.

    So can I trap him somehow so he can't run? Well he can imprison anything I summon, so not really... unless I cheese him with cloning scrolls through Simulacrums, which I kind of want to avoid too. Partially because I can't cast the spell yet, neither can I equip Vhailor's helm without UAI.

    So I keep pondering and realize I have Daystar which can cast Sunray, noticably strong against undead beings. I know Kangaxx is pretty much spell immune, but I'm not sure exactly how high that goes. Maybe 7th level spells can hit him? I give it a shot, no, nothing. But then I accidentally hit him with the Daystar once and it deals about 10 damage.


    Oh, right. It's actually a +4 weapon against undeads. And deals double damage. And some magic.

    Picking up Daystar is literally the first thing I do in every run since all you need is a thief to get it, and the Sunray always comes in handy now and then. But I've never once used it to kill Kangaxx before, although now I suddenly realize it's almost designed to kill him.

    Yep, much better. Despite me not having a proficiency in Long Swords I chop him up in a few rounds with it.

    So yeah, crazy day today. Some spontaneity, some serendipity. Wasted 30000 on a sword I didn't need and that couldn't even do what I wanted it to.

    Either way, after this I consider our shopping list for SoA pretty complete.

    Belm, Kundane, Daystar, Celestial Fury, Staff of the Magi, Robe of Vecna, Boots of Speed, Ring of Gaxx. Can't think of anything else I can grab before Underdark. Robe of Mirroring and Frost Giant Belt are the two items we'll aim for there.

    Oh, thinking about it, there is actually one item that is quite important - the gauntlets of extraordinary specialization in Watcher's Keep. We'll also want the stats from Lum's machine. And Scarlet Ninja-To.

    At least I think all the optional bosses are taken care of. Firkraag, Kangaxx, Shangalar, Compound, Alhoon. I guess the Shadow Dragon would count as one too, but I really can't be bothered going for him considering he has nothing of value and is pretty far off.

    Oh well. Next run will either be the continuation of the story or Watcher's Keep. We'll see what I'm in the mood for.

    (Also, since this thread has gotten quite long and slightly difficult to navigate I've started to make a summary and shortcuts in the first post. Check there if you ever feel lost.)

    Post edited by Tenrecc on
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited July 2016
    Meh, let's go Watcher's Keep while it's still moderately challenging. No HLAs and spells only to 6th level. Will probably be quite fun.

    We enter and clean up the scrubs on the first floor first. Nothing spectacular in here, everything falls fast to skull traps, sunfires and backstabs. I was expecting Vampiric Mists to show up, who usually are quite tricky - they see through invis, are hasted and have magic protection. But they didn't. For some reason I thought Insane difficulty always spawned the most difficult mobs, but I must've mixed that up with some mod, I think Tactics.

    Nothing on this level that can see through invis at all - although I don't really use it that much. In most scenarios things die far faster to spells, and being visible means they won't run away, but rather chase, although me being hasted they'll never get an attack in. Easier to hit all the skulltraps and sunfires.

    The statues were a bit slow to kill, with high magic resistance and I think 60-75% physical damage resistance. Well, they're still backstabbable and you hit them for 15ish damage so they go down fairly fast. The Golem was immune to everything I had except Staff of the Magi, and it actually died pretty fast to it.

    Second level was pretty much the same. The game thinks I'm low level so it only spawns easy trash, except the group of Desert Trolls which reminded me how much better Skull Traps are than Fireballs. The most annoying part was having to acid arrow each and everyone of them. I should've just snuck past them, but for some reason I want to clear the keep.

    This has never happened to me before, and it happened twice this run. The Fire Giant decided to go for a walk and say hi to the Chromatic Demon. Still couldn't kill him though, his regen doesn't seem to be bound to the fire at all.

    And finally, the Chromatic Demon. First guy in here that actually can see through invis.

    He's no different than ever, though. Just stack up on Sunfires and Flame Arrows for his ice form, Acid Arrows for the air form, and I had Usuno's Blade and Celestial Fury for lightning damage. Despite seeing through invis he can be kited forever since he only can melee and isn't hasted.

    Quite easy so far. That's about to change, however, since the 3rd level is practically designed to kill thief/mages. Small rooms so you can't hide your Mislead clone, Demons that can see through invis, lots of anti-magic zones...

    Although I'm around 2.7M exp now, so HLAs are right around the corner.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited July 2016
    Third level... geeze...

    Basically, just run through everything. Demons are so crazy difficult at this level. I decided to take on the second pack of demons first, which you can do if you know your way through the maze, and kill them. The reason for that is that you can prebuff before that fight, whereas you can't for the other. Anti-magic zone and all.

    So, first up are the dozen charmers that charms so much that 90% resistance doesn't help. 3 hasted skeleton warriors does however.

    Next up, the demons themselves. And oh my that was difficult. By far the most difficult fight so far.

    First up, invisibility doesn't help you, they can all see you anyway. Secondly, they are immune or at least very resistant to all sorts of magic. Third, the guy you need to kill has very good AC and he keeps going improved invisible. Despite me having 100% detect illusion so I could bring him out, he just went imp. invis as soon as I hit him. So basically, even with 6-8 APR, +4 weapons and 24 STR I couldn't hit him more than maybe once per round, and for low damage.

    That's the downside of going into Watcher's so early I guess. Without Time Trap, Time Stop, or Tenser's Transformation there's no way to hit someone with that good AC.

    I tried almost everything, but it just felt impossible with my limited resources. With only 2 6th level spells for improved haste and protection from magical weapons, my upkeep fighting on him was pretty much limited to 24 seconds. I could make it 48, but without IH, so the amount of hits I could deal would've been the same either way. And he regs, so the faster the better. And yes, I needed ProMW, because his attacks can stun you and if that lands you're dead in seconds no matter the stoneskins and mirror images.

    In the end though, the only thing that dealt a decent amount of damage to him was, big surprise here, skull traps. Combined with a few lucky hits after whacking on him for a good 48 seconds, he finally went down on around the 10th try. The others aren't important, just remember to put up minor globe since they spam Aghanazzors Sorcerer like there's no tomorrow.

    Run past the rest of the labyrinth, pick up the second gem and find the gambling Cambion. This guy I didn't even want to try to fight. Last solo run I did was with a F/T/M and I remember having HLAs and still having a rough time with him.

    Sure, missing out on +1 stats and 1000000 EXP is usually a bit harsh, but there really isn't any noticable difference between 19 and 20 int, which I should've gotten since the class technically is a Mage/Thief, but even 1 more DEX wouldn't have mattered. I'm at 100 in all important thief skills, I don't use ranged weapons and I don't rely on AC at all. The exp... well sure, but that has never really been an issue for a solo run.

    So yeah. Picked up the Spectral Brand, the Wish scroll and proceeded to the fourth floor.

    Post edited by Tenrecc on
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited July 2016
    Fourth level, and this one is quite different. We go from a Mage/Thieves worst enemies, demons, to his easiest, mind flayers. Remember what I said about their weakness earlier on? Yeah, still applies, can't see invis and can be backstabbed. In fact, that goes for almost everything on the fourth level barring two enemies. They're both optional, but they're also both really easy.

    First up is the Demilich. Now, there are four ways to deal with Imprisonment, and to deal with it I mean to become immune. Four that I'm aware of anyway. That's enough for me.

    1 - Protection from Undead scrolls. But I didn't have anymore, burnt them all on Kangaxx and Shangalar.
    2 - Berzerker Rage. Berzerkers are Demi-Liches natural enemies. But yeah, obviously didn't bring one this time.
    3 - Protection from Magic scrolls. Doesn't shut down the lich when used offensively, since it's an ability and not a spell, but it does protect the recipient from the effect. But there are only 2 in the game that I'm aware of, and I didn't want to clone scroll abuse neither waste one on the demi-lich.
    4 - My favourite, Spell Immunity: Abjuration. It's practically designed to counter enemies spamming one dangerous abilities, and no enemy in the game describe that better than Demi-Liches.

    This one can bite you so you get stunned too, so better combine it with some other protections to avoid that. Equip Daystar and whack away. Easy 55000 exp.

    Next up is his friendly neighborhood dragonman.

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention I got HLAs now. One point in Spike Trap, since they are traps and lasts indefinitely, means you can set up 7 without problem. Easy 64000 exp.

    After picking up a bonus to all stats and magical resistance we head forward into the fifth level. This one is looking to be quite challenging again, not looking forward to facing Nalmissra herself.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited August 2016
    So, fifth level. The first steps are fairly easy. The imp is the same as always, the dragon is spike trap fodder and the orcs, yeah good luck with your true sight through my spell immunity. Just gonna chill here untill you all die. The maze is the same as always, and the colored balls is a laughable challenge that doesn't really suit the 5th level of Watcher's Keep.

    The seals, however...

    The first two are fairly easy, like always. Time traps gives you enough time to kill them all. There were a few blue man standing during the second seal, but they're no real threats.

    Nalmissra's group though... is a completely different story. First I wanted to cheese. Actually, first I did cheese because I didn't want to bother with them. They're not smart enough to open doors, so I could rest and got off 14 time traps instead of 7. However, I've been trying to avoid all kinds of out of sight, rest in a fight and similar cheeses, so the victory was very, very unsatisfying. Coming back here to write about it felt just wrong, trying to justify the behaviour... luckily I had a save right before it, so I could go back and try it again.

    So, let's look at we're up against, shall we?

    - Nalmissra, Succubi. Immune to Skull Trap. Immune to Backstab. Immune to normal weapons. Contingencies protection from magical weapons. Level drains.
    - Y'Tossi, Marilith. Immune to Skull Trap. Immune to Backstab. Immune to normal weapons. Contingencies protection from magical weapons.
    - Hive Mother. Immune to Skull Trap. Immune to Backstab. Immune to normal weapons. Contingencies improved mantle. Casts spell alongside Beholder Rays. Death spells your summons.
    - Xei Win Toh, Fighter. Resistant to Skull Trap. Immune to Backstab.
    - Ameralis Zauviir, Cleric. Immune to Skull Trap. Immune to Backstab. Sunrays your summons.
    - The Huntress, Archer. Immune to Skull Trap. Immune to Backstab.

    Of course there is a lot, lot, lot more to them, this is just skimming the surface to get a quick understanding of what we're up against, as a Mage/Thief. They're all immune to Backstab. Three of them are immune to all kinds of weapons and it's contingencies so Time Trap won't stop them. Neither can you breach them during Time Stop since spells doesn't connect while time is paused. Skull Traps are close to worthless. Skeleton Warriors are killed incredibly quickly by death spell or sunray.

    And what are we? A single Mage/Thief who can cast one level 7 spell.

    Oh well, let's get to it. At least none of them are immune to Time Stop.

    Our first try is pretty simple. Seven time traps and a bunch of skeleton warriors. Kill as much as possible during the time freeze and mop up the rest while your skeleton acts as fodder.

    The results weren't all that impressive though. Since they're all immune to skulltrap, and three of them to all weapons, I can as best kill the three easy ones, which leaves Nalmissra, Ytossi and Hive Mother. Together they simply demolish me and my skeletons without any real problem. This really isn't working. At all.

    Second try is Spike Traps instead of Time Traps. After trying out a few placements we learn that we can assign 2 traps each to kill Nalmissra and Ytossi, which sounds like a good start. The Hive Mother however doesn't seem to be targeted by the traps, so we assign the remaining 3 to the Huntress. With this setup we halv their numbers instantly, just like with Time Traps, but it's far more dangerous foes.

    I also run all the way to Athkatla to pick up Balduran's Shield, so I can down the Hive Mother first while my skeletons keeps the last 2 guys occupied. Sounds pretty good, right?

    However, the results are once again not enough. This is where I learn that the Hive Mother isn't just a beholder, it's a high level mage too, who can cast dispel magic and maze and chunk me easily... and I think her spells counts as abilities, because even with the shield+Improved Invis+Spell Immunity Abjuration+Spell Immunity Divination she kills me in seconds. Oh, and letting both the death spell and sunray caster be alive means my skeletons are next to useless. Nope, this doesn't work either.

    Third iteration, and we're getting closer. We keep the spike traps for Nalmissra and Ytossi, but changes the remaining three into Time Traps. This way we can kill 4 of them with traps, because 3 time traps is enough for me to kill the Cleric and Fighter, leaving only Hive Mother and the Huntress. Surely, only those two will be possible to kill, right? Right??

    Well... nope. Again, Hive Mother just kills me. Doesn't matter what protections I put up or that I have the shield.

    Fourth iteration... and remember that each iterations takes a few tries. We're probably up to dozens of tries by now. This time we keep the traps but changes up the tactics a bit. I've noticed that the Fighter isn't completely immune to Skull Traps, so she gets a nice field waiting for her. Also, Hive Mother "only" casts Improved Mantle on herself. Not Protection from magical weapons like Y'tossi and Nalmissra. Bad move. Very bad move.

    The plan now is to spike trap the two as before, skull trap the fighter, hit the Hive Mother once with Staff of the Magi to remove her protections, then kill her, and if I have time, go for the Cleric. That should leave *only* the Huntress.

    This time, it seems the plan works as intended. Hive Mother goes down in 2 Time Traps, the Cleric in 1, Nalmissra and Y'tossi goes down to the spike traps and the fighter explodes in the skull trap mine field! Finally, I can smell the victory and decide to play it cool, and make some space to buff up before I take on the Huntress in a melee.

    So I run into the remaining skull traps. Oh well.

    The try after that however, everything works out just as well and finally I can watch the Huntress wail away at my protections while slowly killing herself to the fire shield.


    I'm quite satisfied over the win, because it was very challenging. Plenty of times I either wanted to quit it and either just cheese it or come back later with an army of mordenkainens and planetars and +5 weapons. But in the end, I'm glad I didn't. Sure, skull trap stacking is a bit cheesy, but in my book it's a lot less so than line of sight abusing, sleeping in combat, scroll cloning or any other trick I could've used. And if needed I probably could've taken both the Huntress and the Fighter with my defensive spells afterwards, I had a bunch left in the end.

    So, we pick up our coveted gloves, which will aid us greatly since APR is one of the things the class really lacks and heads down to say hi to Demmie.

    I'm sure I don't need to go into detail here. This is probably the most well-known cheese in the whole series, and the most common use of Spike Traps overall.

    And so we've killed Demogorgon as a solo Mage/Thief at 4.3M exp. The only downside now is that things probably won't be challenging again untill we're a bit into ToB. The upside, though, between boots of speed and staff of the magi, it shouldn't take us very long to get there.

    Post edited by Tenrecc on
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    Yep, as expected, the game flew by pretty fast. After killing Demogorgon most enemies are fairly easy in comparison. It's to the point where you can rightclick most of them and feel like a fullblood kensai. Although you still have to be careful with some since our AC isn't that good and on Insane everything hit pretty hard.

    Anyway, we've been sprinting through most of the games, only picking up a few key items (Bag of holding, Belt of Frost Giants, Cloak of Mirroring) and scouring the place for scrolls. Found quite a healthy amount of 8th and 9th level spells. Although the 9th level spells cost 12000 gold each, which means that my bank drained pretty fast after all. And yeah, we're at 6.3M exp suddenly, with access to 9th level spells.

    Oh, and we bypassed whatever we could.

    I'm sorry Adalon, but I'm in no mood to be on egg duty.

    Anyway, we've just killed Bodhi and could go for Irenicus if we pleased, but I feel like slowing down a bit. I've been playing a bit too much, but it's been a lot of fun, hehe. Right now it's time to start to consider so we don't leave anything of importance left in SoA when we head towards ToB.

    But yeah, it feels nice to have ToB right around the corner. After all, ToB was the main point of the debate that started this whole run.

    Oh, little Ravager, I'm coming for you.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    Final part of the SoA saga. I decided to take it slow and clean up some stronghold quests, pick up Gesen Bow, the two Wakazachis from Julov, a few spells, the two protection from magic scrolls, vhailor's helmet and the belt of inertial barrier since hell rewards will grant us a natural 22 STR, so no belts needed. Quite impressive that I managed to run out of money while soloing to be honest, but those 9th level scrolls and CE items cost a hell of a lot together, despite my 24 charisma.

    Also managed to hit max exp and is now a 20 Mage / 28 Thief with HLAs consisting of all epic spells except comet, all bonus spell slots, assassinate, use any item, 3 time traps and 7 spike traps.

    I've been starting to like Thief/Mage more and more during this run, and I think it might overtake F/T/M as my favourite solo class. While it does lack some fighter power, that hasn't really been noticable, and the strength of being able to utilize 9th level spells - albeit only 2 per sleep - is really helpful. Planetars are so strong they make it feel like a duo-run instead of a solo-run, and chain contingency is probably the most fun and powerful spell in the game. Shapechange also opens up a lot of fun stuff.

    So now it's time to say goodbye to Irenicus and head into the real challenge. We've acquired all of the tools we need, all the pieces of the puzzle.

    Bye SoA, hello ToB.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited August 2016
    So, again I won't go into details with fodder but keep to the bosses. At this point we're practically permanently mislead and improved hasted, and if we need to we can chain contingency a few mordenkainens or horrid wiltings or just get backup from our lovely planetar.

    We start off spike trapping Illasera since I've got all that spare time anyway, plow through the first challenge alongside our Planetar and head into Saradush. I run through the Arcana Archives and learn a bit more that I didn't know, further cementing the Thief class as quite useful.

    Yep, with 200 in pickpocket you can basically pickpocket everything. I got the scroll case and filled it with all the 9th and 8th level spells for free, then pickpocketed all the Archmagi robes to see if I could get away with it, alongside some other things. I reached stuff for around 200.000 before I got bored, but I think we can assume that with 200 pickpocket you can basically steal anything you'd like. Makes me feel pretty stupid for farming gold and buying things at the end of SoA, but hey, you learn something new all the time, right?

    Next up we greet Gromnir. He has home field advantage, so no traps this time.

    He's a real pushover nonetheless. My CCed Mordenkainens got death spelled, but my CCed Wiltings cleaned up the casters and me fully buffed alongside the Planetar mopped up the rest in seconds.

    Onwards to the Fire Mountains.

    Gotta say, there's something very pleasant about backstabbing Fire Giants. They're just so big and juicy. An invisibility on the Mislead clone means they've got nothing to hit. I know it would've been faster to just stealth through everything since I'm XP capped, but meh. Chunk, chunk. ^^

    We mop up that part and head to our first "real" Five encounter.

    Well, that was pretty disappointing. Buff up a bit with Mislead, hit him once to have him run away, stack up a CCed wilting, when he comes back the Wiltings kill his party and severely damages him. Mop up with a Planetar. I think I could've even planted some traps while he was away if I had wanted to, but it didn't felt necessary.

    Plow through the Oasis to get to Athkatla (don't forget to pick up the Answerer), clear up the bags at the smugglers and we're off for the bigger fishes. As I've said earlier, there are only two fights I can see requiring some figuring out, and those are Sendai and Ravager, so I'm really, really looking forward to them. First we'll go dragon hunting though.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    Draconis first. A little annoying due to his two stage fight.

    Set up time traps outside of his range. Improve haste yourself. Cast True Sight.

    First he'll protect himself with Improved Mantle. Hit once with SotM to dispel. Once he gets hurt he'll contingency Protection from Magical Weapons. He'll also turn invis, thus the True Sight. Breach it, watch him turn into a dragon, lure the dragon into the Time Traps, he'll cast ProMW again, just wait it out. It's just a 24 second protection and we've got time traps for 70.

    Head into the dungeon, clear the stuff, time for Abazigal.

    Time for a little trick I havn't been using yet, but it's one of my favourites. Project Image+Wizard eye combo lets you trap people without them turning hostile. Or spawn. Or any trigger thing. After that you summon a Planetar that kills your clone, maybe a few Mordenkainens, and your main character still have all the spells.

    So, simple plan, Spike the first form, lure him into Time Traps, decimate him.

    WELP. Appearently someone has gotten immune to Time Stop in the EE upgrade. Good for him! Going up in this world. Proud of him. Bad for me though, kind of screwed up the plan.

    Well, we just switched the Time traps to Spike traps. More spike traps is the answer once again. Three for his main form, four was enough to kill the dragon. He died too fast for me to even screenshot.

    Dragon hunting done. Drow hunting comin' right up!

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited August 2016
    Well, I'm sorry for the language, but fuck me that was disappointing. I've been doing this playthrough for a while now, and while it's been pretty funny, I had really been looking forward to Sendai and Ravager, because I believed those would be really difficult and require multiple iterations and plans and some careful play.


    Guess I should've known better than listening to the naysayers.

    Either way, we stealthed through most of Sendais enclave, just being sure to upgrade our main weapon to Spectral Brand +5 and prepared for the fight.

    The setup was pretty standard. CCed Mordenkainens and Planetar occupies the reinforcements while I just run around killing all the statues. Went about as smooth as one could've hoped, only needing the occasional True Sight and SotM whack to dispel some defenses, and one by one the statues fell.

    When the real Sendai returned, it was mostly just like any other mage. She was quite sustainable but seemed to run out of spells after a while, and in the end she just attacked me heads on, which really wasn't threatening. I even came with ProMagic scrolls ready to cheese her, but that wasn't close to necessary so I ended up saving them.

    Next up, Balthazar.

    Not much to say. He's only immune to Time Stop while in a particular stance. Catch him in a time trap while he's not, and he's completely defenseless.

    And so, the huge disappointment himself, the Ravager. Immune to Time Stop, Immune to Backstab, high physical resistance, high magical resistance... sounds like he'd be quite challenging, right?

    Again, we set up the same way, project image into 7 Spike Traps and a bunch of summons. Mostly to soften him up, since people have told me Spike Traps wouldn't kill him.

    So I go in to check how much if softens him... and it brings him all the way to Near Death. Whoa. I run in, pop a Spell Trigger I had laying around with Stone Skin and Improved Haste, whack on him a bit, and he falls down. I didn't even buff for it, and I came prepared with goddamn Storm Giant potions, scrolls of Absolute Immunity and everything... and this is what I get? He falls over on what wasn't even supposed to be the first try, but just me checking how much damage he took from Spike Traps?

    I'll give it to him though. In the entire series, he's the only one who is manly enough to survive 7 Spike Traps to the face. (He took 495 damage from it though. That's a lot.)

    But yeah, I can't begin to describe how disappointed I am right now. This was the fight I've been looking forward to ever since I first rolled him, but I guess Spike Traps is gonna be Spike Traps.

    Oh well. Time to clean up Amelyssan and call it a day. Guess at least it solidifies the Thief/Mage as a beast class. The only fights I've had problems with so far has been in Watcher's Keep, the Labyrinth demons and Nalmissra's group, and that was only because I was extremely underlevelled while doing it.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited August 2016
    So I noticed how extremely easy it is to create videos in the new Windows 10, so I decided to capture how to kill the Ravager in a fairly basic way, since he's considered out "arch enemy" due to his immunity to backstab, timestop and high resistances etc. A bit funnier to watch than just read and view pictures, I'd wager. Sorry about the poor quality though.

    Ravager as served by a Mage/Thief

    Post edited by Tenrecc on
  • rmdrmd Member Posts: 1
    Well done and extremely well written! Really, bravo. This is now my favorite playthrough writeup, surpassing the longstanding reign of Elmonster.

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited August 2016
    Thanks a lot @rmd ! Are you the guy from reddit by any chance? Judging that this is your first post. :)

    Either way, I've currently 0 motivation to finish the run now and are a long way into planning my next which I'm really excited for, but since it's only Amelyssan left, I really should finish her to wrap this up nice and cleanly.

    So, the by far most difficult part of her is the very first fight. I've been playing around with the Ravager so much that I went in with that mindset, only protected with ProMW and high damage buff to take her out. Forgot she has combat protections and dispells me. So that was a no go.

    In the end I actually had to buff up properly before taking her on, but since there's no prebuff restriction it was pretty easy. A few basic protection spells alongside ProMW for protecions, Spell Immunity: Abjuration/Divination to avoid being dispelled, Tenser's and ImpHaste for damage and Wand of Spell Striking for Breaches + Scrolls of Absolute Immunity and ProMW in the action bars since I couldn't cast Breach or Rebuff while under Tenser. Went as planned and she went down fairly easily.

    So, the side battles aren't really worth mentioning. Either buff up and go in, or just send a Planetar and some Mordenkainens.

    And, of cource, all the recurring forms of Amelyssan is a bit easier than the first one.

    Rinse and repeat with the Wish scroll and 19 WIS, and it's an easy fight.

    I went a little off planning on the last Pool though. I didn't get the Rest option, but rather the double Time Stop+Alacrity combo.

    Havn't been using Improved Alacrity in a long while, and it was fun as a change. One of the by fast funniest things in this game is still Time Stop, Alacrity, -5 casting time and unloading your whole spell book. This game really do make you feel like a Demigod sometimes, that's one of the reasons I love it way more than any other series.

    A little risky to not go for the rest option, since I was now completely out of Wishes, but I could clean them up with the double Time Stop and a Black Blade of Disaster and still had the 7 Spike Traps I needed.

    And that's that. All in all I think it was a very successful run, since it originated from people telling me it was a poor solo class and that I couldn't beat the Ravager except for "by the skin of my teeth," and now I have some pretty solid proof if that poor arguement ever comes up again.

    In terms of challenges, I had a few fun ones, especially Nalmissra, but those originated from me braving Watcher's Keep with only 7th level spells and 3M exp.

    Oh well. I had a blast both playing and writing this up, and hopefully a few people have gotten some enjoyment / learned something from it.

    See you in the next one!

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    What a fun and enlightening read. And I got two more posts to read just about every time I came. Love the table of contents at the beginning. This is my new standard for playthroughs, I hope there is more to come.

    That project image for laying traps trick is awesome. I'm sure there are a few other tricks which were new to me here too. Have you ever used @semiticgod (?) s trick of blinding yourself to lay traps when enemies are present?

    I missed the discussion which prompted this playthrough, was it in this forum? I can't imagine why someone would think mage/thief wasn't a good solo combo. Where they restricting themselves to not using traps?

  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265

    What a fun and enlightening read. And I got two more posts to read just about every time I came.

    Thank you! And yes, I enjoyed the playthrough quite a lot, so it didn't take too long. :) Also getting a few likes helped a lot, knowing that some other found it worth reading.

    Love the table of contents at the beginning. This is my new standard for playthroughs, I hope there is more to come.

    Aye, I was very satisfied with what pretty much randomly ended up becoming my "style" so to speak. Tons of visuals, a table of content (especially for people who just want to read about a specific boss or part of the game), and later on I even found out that Windows 10 was amazing to record clips with, so I'll definitely make sure to use that more in the future.

    And yes, there's one more run which I see you've already found. I've wanted to run a SCS for a very long time now since practically everyone talks about it and I feel a bit left out. After that we'll see, having a blast now but I'm ficke when it comes to what games I play. :)

    That project image for laying traps trick is awesome. I'm sure there are a few other tricks which were new to me here too. Have you ever used @semiticgod (?) s trick of blinding yourself to lay traps when enemies are present?

    There are a lot more tricks to be had if I had wanted to, ranging from semi-cheesy to very cheesy. Scroll-cloning for example is absurdly strong, and I'm still completely baffled that it's still in the game when all other kinds of Project Image abuse has been removed...

    As for the blind self trick I havn't used it no, for a very simple reason - I didn't know about it. Learned about it just when I was finishing up the run. I know a bunch of tricks and combos, but as it turns out there is still, always, more to learn. Which again is why this game is so fantastic.

    I missed the discussion which prompted this playthrough, was it in this forum? I can't imagine why someone would think mage/thief wasn't a good solo combo. Where they restricting themselves to not using traps?

    It was over on Reddit, and it was more than one instance. We would be discussing Thief/Mage and someone would come and say "Oh I'm too spoiled by Kensai/Mage to play such a bad class," and after some "debating" with these people it turns out they think that the Ravager is almost impossible for the class, or they don't even know what Mislead does or things like that.

    I must admit I have grown very distasteful for Kensai/Mages for that very reason. Not the class, but the fanbase. It's like they read up on this class on forums, try it out and finds how strong it is, and afterwards they are the selfentitled kings of the game and knows everything and doesn't need to try out learn anything new because that class is so strong.

    But I'm ranting again, and I don't really want to get into that discussion againt. To sum it up, one of these people told me that it was impossible to solo the Ravager except for "by the skin of my teeth," and I simply wanted to point out how demonstrable false that was. And, as it happened, I ended up getting a really fun playthrough!

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited August 2016
    Tenrecc said:

    That project image for laying traps trick is awesome. I'm sure there are a few other tricks which were new to me here too. Have you ever used @semiticgod (?) s trick of blinding yourself to lay traps when enemies are present?

    There are a lot more tricks to be had if I had wanted to, ranging from semi-cheesy to very cheesy. Scroll-cloning for example is absurdly strong, and I'm still completely baffled that it's still in the game when all other kinds of Project Image abuse has been removed...


    I know a bunch of tricks and combos, but as it turns out there is still, always, more to learn. Which again is why this game is so fantastic.

    EDIT: I hide the reasons why I think that nerfing the clones is not the good solution because is OT

    About the project image and the abuses I read a lot of different opinions.
    Someone think that using items and scrolls from the quick slots (without consuming the real ones) is an abuse.
    Other people think that the PI is cheesy just because permits to cast spells without consuming the daily memorization of the mage (up to a sorcerer that uses his PImages to cast rows of wishes....).
    Others can think, following the same line of thinking, that using a PI to set traps or use other class abilities is also an abuse.
    Making everybody happy removing all those abuses lead to a completely useless and risky clone that can not physically attack and can not cast or use items, but freeze the PC.

    I admit that cloning powerful and very rare scrolls using the PI is really strong, but imho using the helm of Vahilor with a fighter can be a even greater abuse. Is true that there are very few Protection from Magic or Wish scrolls, but there is only a Crom (or whatever named weapon, armor, ring the clone is equipping), and using the helm's simulacrum you have 2 Crom active at the same time.
    And the duplication of the scroll is not real, you can not take it from the PI and put it in your inventory and keep it for tomorrow. What is really duplicated is the effect of the scroll, for the limited time the effect last.
    Just as the effect of the weapon is duplicated for the limited time the simulacrum last. Same level of abuse and power. Or even more, with a party of 4 FMT and Korgan you can have 6 Crom, 5 Scarlet, 6 rings of gaxx and 6 +3 rings, 6 boots of speed and cloak of reflection and last but not least 5 RoV active in the same moment on the planes.......
    But if you post on the forums that you have used the Helm with Korgan is fine, if you write that you have used a PfM scroll with your PI shame on you, the big evil cheesercheater............

    I agree when you say "I know a bunch of tricks and combos, but as it turns out there is still, always, more to learn. Which again is why this game is so fantastic", for me is the same.
    But just for that reason I think that nerfing the 3 clones is not the good solution, because imo the game become less fantastic. I think that the solution is self moderation and refusing to use cheap tactics.
    This game, modded or vanilla, can be completed solo or with a party, using cheese and cheap tactics or refusing to use them, in so many different ways.

    The point is not the power, you can have a lot of power even without clones at all, the point is creativity. And the more you nerf the clones the more you limit the creativity.

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265

    But if you post on the forums that you have used the Helm with Korgan is fine, if you write that you have used a PfM scroll with your PI shame on you, the big evil cheesercheater............

    Well... yeah, that's absolutely how I would see it.

    Cloning Korgan just gives you another fighter. Cloning PfM-scrolls removes like 80% of all the challenges in the games. It flat out removes all Mages, Priests, Druids, Dragons, Liches, Beholders, Rakashas, most Demons and most bosses such as Kangaxx, Shangalar, Irenicus, Sendai, Amelyssan... etc etc... The only thing left is things that can punch like fire giants or golems, but they are very easy anyway...

    PfM scrolls are a joke really... having 2 of them in the game is cheesy alone, cloning them is megasupercheesy

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited August 2016
    @Tenrecc , I agree about PfM scrolls.

    how much challenge is left having 6 Crom, 6 of the best strength belt or maybe 6 no save vorpal weapons? 5 of them equipped by clones that can happily use all their GWW in the fight. Maybe having in another weapon slot that staff that give a no save domination that works on everything but immune enemies and a very few bosses.

    I think that you missed my point, that was self moderation and refusing to use cheap tactics.

    I have begun to play to BG2 in 2000 or 2001, but I have used (outside of tests followed by a reload) that scroll or the Shield of Balduran in no more then 2 or 3 runs. But I am constantly using the ability of the clones and shapeshifted to use their quick slots in my search of new tricks, maybe just to let my early game Aerie-Troll (DUHM + Haste + Cloack of sewers) cast a couple of Stoneskins, or my Aerie-Spider cast Web.
    I don't want my fun and my research limited just for the fact that other players are not able to use self restrain and moderation. And nerf everything that you want to nerf, there will always be cheap tactics that spoil the fun and challenge.
    I also don't want to limit the fun players that love to use cheap tactics, OP items and any kind of things that others can call abuses, when is so easy to simply don't use them if your playing stile is different and you dislike them.

    Edit: spoiler added for the same reason as above

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited August 2016

    @Tenrecc , I agree about PfM scrolls.
    But how much challenge is left having 6 Crom, 6 of the best strength belt or maybe 6 no save vorpal weapons? 5 of them equipped by clones that can happily use all their GWW in the fight. Maybe having in another weapon slot that staff that give a no save domination that works on everything but immune enemies and a very few bosses.

    For that setup you need a full party with access to all the best gear in the game - how much challenge is left even if you dont use simulacrums at that point? PfM scrolls turns singleplayer runs into runs easier than ones with a stacked 6 party.

    I think that you missed my point, that was self moderation and refusing to use cheap tactics.

    I have begun to play to BG2 in 2000 or 2001, but I have used (outside of tests followed by a reload) that scroll or the Shield of Balduran in no more then 2 or 3 runs. But I am constantly using the ability of the clones and shapeshifted to use their quick slots in my search of new tricks, maybe just to let my early game Aerie-Troll (DUHM + Haste + Cloack of sewers) cast a couple of Stoneskins, or my Aerie-Spider cast Web.
    I don't want my fun and my research limited just for the fact that other players are not able to use self restrain and moderation. And nerf everything that you want to nerf, there will always be cheap tactics that spoil the fun and challenge.
    I also don't want to limit the fun players that love to use cheap tactics, OP items and any kind of things that others can call abuses, when is so easy to simply don't use them if your playing stile is different and you dislike them.

    I didn't miss anything, I simply didn't respond to it in particular. I'm not sure how I feel about it, so there was no point in commenting.

    As far as I can tell, the only cheeses removed were those brutally overpowered and nobody in clear conscience would use anyway. Infinite thief traps, infinite summons, multiple planetars etc. But then they leave in scroll cloning which is just as powerful, if not more. I just find it to be very inconsistent.

    I'm not saying removing things are bad or good. On one hand, yes, I don't want my game limited, and if it ever become perfectly balanced I would probably never play it. All these tricks you figure out over the years is what makes if worth playing. And I agree, self moderation is key to fun playthroughs - heck I don't even use disengages anymore.

    On the other hand, I can see them removing the supercheesy stuff like infinite summons, because that was just never fun in any way shape or form. The only thing that leaving it in the game would do would open up temptation doors for when you were really stuck.

    Your point hinges on your "fun and research" being limited because of their nerfes. But so far, have they really nerfed anything that's fun? If they are gonna nerf scroll cloning they should just nerf PfM scrolls tbh and leave scroll cloning. It's the scrolls, not the clones, that are broken to begin with, the cloning is just a way to extend a broken item with 2 uses to having infinite uses.

    Although that'd be boring too. Just make it so that PfM scrolls doesn't get copied with clones. It'd be that simple.

    Anyway, this thread is for the playthrough, not a PfM/scrollcloning/moderation/illusion nerf discussion. So let's leave it at that and take this somewhere else.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    Tenrecc said:

    Anyway, this thread is for the playthrough, not a PfM/scrollcloning/moderation/illusion nerf discussion. So let's leave it at that and take this somewhere else.

    That is right and I apologize for the OT, I will also edit my previous posts hiding my textwalls as spoilers.
    But is also true that I was discussing an opinion of the OP: "and I'm still completely baffled that it's still in the game when all other kinds of Project Image abuse.....", opinion referred to scroll cloning, not only to PfM scroll cloning.

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