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Druid strategy guide

Hello everyone!

I've been playing through Baldur's Gate some times now and I've been thinking carefully about the druid class. I think their spells are kinda good.

In my last playthrough I was playing with a full mage party (6 mages). It worked very well! My lifeboat many times was the various amount of summons. My analyze is this: Summons in Baldur's Gate 1-2 are very good, even in ToB.

Hence - to get back to my main thread - what do you think about the druid class? Their priestscroll has alot of good summons; e.g. the fire elemental and elemental princes.

Regards

Comments

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    I wish Druids had a clearer advantage over Clerics when it comes to summons. Conjure Fire Elemental is a perfect example: on average, the summoned creature will have 14 HD. At the same level, Clerics have Aerial Servant, which has 16 HD. Conjure Fire Elemental is probably still better because of immunities and elemental damage, but it's not much better.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,986
    Druids have a clearer advantage over Clerics when it comes to summons, elemental princes. one of them can be gated at the same time a Deva or Planetar is gated, only a party with an high level Druid can, in the end game, have 2 very strong gated helpers at the same time, in a phase of the game where the other summons are just short lasting cannon fodder.
    Seeing your elemental prince and your deva/planetar destroying dragons and other big bosses is what make you happy about all the time waited as their leveling curve is quite atypical and they have to wait for forever to reach lev 15, when they gain a lot of lev7 slots in one single leveling up.
    This, the insect spells and the Ironskin are imo the only very relevant Druid only spells, the only not RP reasons to chose a Druid over a Cleric, that has better spells to buff himself and the party.
    The mid level summons are useful and the Druid has the better variety to choose into, but are nothing that give a clear advantage over the summoning ability of a Cleric or Mage.

    MandragoraBubblesTenrecc
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,986
    Disposable meatshield with some very good spells, you can not plan a battle just on them, but many times the nymph manages to put a couple of enemies out of the game until half way BG2, is the miniature PI of the Druid.

    MandragoraTenreccThacoBell
  • MandragoraMandragora Member Posts: 79
    For me, druid signature spell is insect plague, its just so good, also call lightning can work wonders in some cases. I wanted to try shapeshifter but as far as i know, they are just weak. In one of my playthroughs i had mind flayer as a companion(Jansen shapshifted) there were some ironic moments like devouring brain of illithids themselves :smiley: Anyway, back to the topic, summons, I would recommend cleric, i just prefer good old magic resistant skeleton army, or you can go something different at all and try make summoner out of shaman.

    ThacoBell
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,786
    not really a fan of the single class druid itself, but I do fancy fighter/druids, because of early druid levels growing up so quickly, you can have a quite effective druid with some fighter levels (which can help make those shapeshifts a little better) and even in early to mid SoA they are quite good, although they fall a little bit behind in late SoA/ early/mid ToB, but once they hit that crazy 6 000 000 XP mark, they get a whole bunch of level 7 spells which is nice, and to top it all off, having all those levels of fighter, very helpful, so that is why I like the fighter/druid more than just a druid

    gorgonzola
  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited August 2016
    BG2 druids have always been solid, and it shows when one of the first things SCS does is nerf them.
    Single class druids are powerful in the sense that they get their "I win" spells earlier than other druid types, and in some groups that's all that really matters.
    Note that all druids are supposed to be casters, even the Shapeshifter. These are not your WoW druids.

    The stigma against BG druids stems from their original BG1 incarnation. In a setting where a single critical hit can end your adventures, druids lacked access to heavy armors/shields (like the cleric) or powerful control spells (like the mage). In fact, the sheer mid-game power of the BG2 druid seems to be an attempt to rectify just how bad the BG1 incarnation of the class was. It also helps justify the uncharacteristic, massive jump in XP required from level 13 to 14 - other classes needed to catch up.

    Post edited by Nuin on
    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • BubblesBubbles Member Posts: 589
    Druids are very useful even in BG1EE .... if you can prevent their spell castings from being disrupted by attacks X_X. Most of the time, I guess, many people cannot effectively use a druid, is probably due to their longer spell casting time (very often their signature spells as well). Thus, I am very careful of how and where I place my druid in combat so as to allow the druid to effectively throw spells without disruption.

    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • TenreccTenrecc Member Posts: 265
    edited August 2016
    MWO said:

    Hence - to get back to my main thread - what do you think about the druid class? Their priestscroll has alot of good summons; e.g. the fire elemental and elemental princes.

    Unfortunately, the Druid is a pretty lackluster summoner untill the very end, with Elemental Summoning and Greater Elemental summoning. Nymphs can be very useful since they autocast disabling spells and can sometimes even win fights on their own, but they are still mostly outclassed by the heavily resistant and though skeleton warrior their cleric counterparts get. And that is not to mention the mages summons, which gets all the best ones (skeleton warriors, spider spawns, mordenkainens, planetars).

    The greatest benefit the Druid class gets is the insect swarm spells, which is the bane of many spellcasters. Those are few and far between though, which is why the Druid is best as a Fighter/Druid multiclass that negates their lackluster armor compared to their cleric counterparts, who are decent fighters that can toss around the occasional heal, protection spell, insect swarm and elemental summons at higher levels.
    Nuin said:

    BG2 druids have always been solid, and it shows when one of the first things SCS does is nerf them.

    That's only the insect summons spells though, right? So it's those spells that are a bit strong, not the class itself.

    I wanted to try shapeshifter but as far as i know, they are just weak.

    You should try the SCS component that fixes them. It gives you a shapeshift on will (it's a weapon that you place in your weapon slot that changes you when you equip it), and it returns the intended abilities to the forms (grt werewolf has all the resistances and regens 1hp/sec etc).

    It makes them fun and usable without making them too strong.

    gorgonzola
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    The SCS werewolf is totally a gamebreaking in early BG1 and will be kind of useless in late BG2-ToB.

    But it is a VERY nice choise. By far the best druid kit IMHO.

  • MandragoraMandragora Member Posts: 79
    @Tenrecc thanks, ill keep that in mind. I'm playing on macbook atm so installing mods is a bit complicated, i cant even do ingame screenshot

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,958
    edited August 2016

    Call Woodland Creatures is cool if only because, at a minimum, it can serve as a free Mass Cure with a level four spell, and then a disposable meatshield (albeit a fragile one) after.

    Pretty sure their scripts now work so that they shouldn't cancel your orders now. That makes them quite a bit more effective than they used to be (once you've cast that Mass Cure I mean).

  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited August 2016
    Tenrecc said:


    That's only the insect summons spells though, right? So it's those spells that are a bit strong, not the class itself.

    You do know that druids get access to Call Woodland beings at level 7 (XP equivalent to level 6 cleric and level 5 mage)? You know that the nymphs have access to spells like Hold Monster (a level 5 save or die spell against humanoids that ignores Orb of Invulnerability) and Mass Cure? Have you considered that humanoid opponents tend to carry extremely useful items?

    And then there are spells like Entangle which, while inferior to Web, can be just as effective crowd control when combined with spells/wands, especially since (as a level 1 spell) you get more castings of it. Avengers, though, get both Web AND Entangle. Call Lightning is situational, but is incredibly powerful when it works especially when you have 6 different people casting the spell (druid and 5 nymphs). Iron Skins gives druids physical damage protection. The Fire Elemental can hit almost anything and obviously have their use. They won't hit as hard as Aerial Servants, but they can punch through Stoneskins and auto-kill trolls. The insect spells need no introduction, and Nature's Beauty is basically an "I win" spell for a lot of battles. The casting time issue can be somewhat mitigated with common sense and simple strategies.

    Besides SCS, EE itself seems to have taken pains to nerf druids with normalized priest spell progression, which severely affected druid spell progression. If you have played/still play the original BG2, you'll notice that druids follow their own distinct spell progression. They originally got a single level 7 spell slot earlier and then got a whole bunch of extra spell slots after breaking the 13->14 XP wall, and if you understood how the class worked it should be obvious that this was likely done to offset how a mere level 7 BG2 druid could basically summon a (albeit significantly inferior) level 10-ish mage (access to level 5 arcane spells), though lore-wise this was also because there are supposed to only be few high level druids in existence at a time (so perhaps the nymph was added when they decided to stick with FR lore). Regardless, the effect is the same.
    I'm not sure if this is still the case, though.

    Anyway there has to be some reason why all these people, who we can agree on are respected modders, are doing this, right?
    Druids are plenty powerful, though mid-game they mostly specialize in bringing down humanoid opponents. They don't have a lot of options against undead until much later on, for example. Still, if you play by their strengths you should be swimming in enough enchanted items/gold to be able to tackle anything else.
    Finally, a single class druid PC is able to reach level 12-13 about as fast as thieves/bards, which means that they can force higher level NPCs to spawn earlier. That means Viconia spawns with Aerial Servants/Harm, etc. Really nasty stuff.

    Post edited by Nuin on
    gorgonzolaThacoBell
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 707
    Totemic druids summons make it powerful summoner early mid game without any disadvantage.

    ThacoBellmonico
  • ear2earthenear2earthen Member Posts: 6
    After playing a sorcerer or conjurer its really hard to play anything else...kinda makes the game nul and void

  • ariakas2ariakas2 Member Posts: 77
    edited November 18
    After playing a sorcerer or conjurer its really hard to play anything else...kinda makes the game nul and void

    I suggest modding the game with Spell Revisions and Faith and Powers. Tons of new spells and new kits. I am having a good time with this setup atm, more than sorc tbh.

    Ardul
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 196
    After playing a sorcerer or conjurer its really hard to play anything else...kinda makes the game nul and void

    well, you're kind of playing a necromancer right now, reviving a 3 year old thread ;)

    Balrog99sarevok57
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