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Druid shapeshifting

So I'm running a fighter lvl 9 dualled to druid (currently level 11). He has gotten three nifty animal forms he can shapeshift into (black bear, brown bear and wolf).
I'm playing in Legacy of Bhaal mode and use lots of animal summons for cannon fodder.
But would it be any advantage to also shift myself into an animal? Can't I deal more damage with my staff (with 5 proficiency points...) than any of these animal forms?
Do they have any advantage to my human form?

PS. fire elementals are pretty awesome against vampires, mummies, "shadows" and djinnies. Like - **really** awesome. A-walk-in-the-park grade awesome.


  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,786
    for a vanilla druid, the basic shapeshifts ( which is what you have) only real advantage is, is that they give additional attacks per round with their natural attack, but if you are using a good quarterstaff ( like staff of rynn or staff of the woodlands) you will no doubt have around 3 APR, so I would stay with that instead of shapeshifting

    even in normal mode, shapeshifts aren't really all that great, only every once in a while in certain situations will shapeshifting be good,

    so if I were you I would just stick with spell casting, and using whatever magical weapons you find

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,987
    sarevok57 said:

    if you are using a good quarterstaff ( like staff of rynn or staff of the woodlands) you will no doubt have around 3 APR, so I would stay with that instead of shapeshifting

    That is the point, a lev9 fighter is much powerful than a bear (high level Wilson excluded) and the shapeshifted forms don't upgrade with leveling (thing that would be interesting for some possible mod).
    The static shapeshifted forms are calibrated to be balanced in BG1, and is fine because is better to have them not useful in bg2 or tob then to have them OP in the first game. They are still marginally useful at the very beginning of BG2, but at that point the single class druid begin to be a decent spellcaster and summoner, at the end of bg2 he is a very good spellcaster and with AOF, Ironskins and the high level thaco and hp he can do something also in mlee, without being a fighter as he lacks APR, but enough to be a soloer or add something to what the tanks/dps dealers do.
    Dualing from fighter mean that all the mlee potential come from the fighter part, not at the level that a multi (Jaheira) can reach, but being a much better spellcaster until very very late in the game in a 6 men party, is still more casting oriented but very good at both.
    The multi is the more balanced one but you have to wait forever for that fire elementals and the much better elemental princes.

    About the weapons if you have the GM in staves there is an other very useful, the staff spear. At the beginning is much cheaper than the staff of rynn and is useful trough the whole game against the enemies immune to blunt weapons like the stone golems. You don't have so much proficiency points and with rynn-woodlands-ram + spear staff you can focus on a single 2 hander GM, get that points in 2hand weapons to double the crits and have something for the sling. Or have GM in sling that with good strength enhancers make you a really effective ranged fighter and specialize in staves if you have to go mlee for some reason. The ranged fighter->druid can be very effective as divine magic has very long casting times and in mlee you can easily be disrupted, send mlee your party members or your summons as you help them with very good ranged damage and useful spells like the lighting and the insects, much better than trying to do too much things at the same time. A F->D will never be as good in mlee as a F->M, that have PFMW, Blur, Improved Invisiblity, Spell Immunity and the Spell Shields, against high APR enemies Ironskin (and mage's stoneskin) fade away very fast and even if the F->D can use armor the F->M with good bracers and few spells can reach a better AC, a lot better, he loses five points, AC 3 (early in the game) vs AC-2 (a lot later), but adds more with the buffs, and has ways to make the buffs undispellable.
    I am not promoting FM, just pointing out some differences when they go mlee, F->D is a very good class.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,392

    and the shapeshifted forms don't upgrade with leveling (thing that would be interesting for some possible mod).


  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,987
    @subtledoctor I did not read that topic because it was posted 4 months before I become a member of the forum. And I did not know the content of the mod in detail because I am only now beginning to play EE, while still playing the original, with old school mods like tactics.
    At a first look it seems really interesting, now i am experiencing my first vanilla EE run (and is ages since I did play the original vanilla game the last time, so is a mix of new things and old, almost forgotten ones), but I will surely give it a try later.
    I suppose that I will try it before trying LoB, that does not appeal me much.

    But I was thinking at something different, like a shapeshifted form that remains useful until ToB, maybe not something that improves so much that at level cap a shapeshifted druid can go mlee against a fire giant, but something that is not completely not useful past the first couples of quests of SoA, and maybe even before that point. I wander how many players use the druid in animal form in SoA or ToB, when many people complain about how is underpowered even the shapeshifter kit.

    Your mod is a complete revision of the clerical casters, but the shapeshifted form is still not so useful in late SoA or ToB as with the right sling and bullets, and some STR enhancing belt, he can easily do more DPR and has a good thac0, while he is safe far from the mlee zone and not prevented from casting. Hasted with a potion or spell he can deal 40-50 dpr, half if not hasted, and at lev 15 he has a natural thac0 of 12, plus the bonuses from bullet, launcher and eventually other items, he can reach a thac0 of 4 and hit enemies that require a +2 enchantment, +3 in ToB.
    The shapeshifted form at that point of the game, let's say lev 15 should hit at least as a +2 weapon with a thac0 of something like 6 and a DPR of maybe 30, spitted in 3 attacks so they become 40 with haste and need improved haste to go up to 60. Starting at lev 7 like the vanilla brown bear form and scaling up gradually.
    Imo not so OP as he has to be in the mlee zone and prevented from casting. In comparison a mage with MMM can do better with 1/3 of the xp and a cleric with the same xp can do about the same damage with a sling and RM + DUHM (and a lot more if DW two good weapons), while they are not prevented from casting.
    And Cleric's magic is different but almost as good (you loose insect plague but gain chaotic commands) and the arcane magic ... well, everybody knows it, IA, PI, DB, ADHW, should I tell more ? :smile:

    As you see I was thinking of something quite different from what you have done, a small tweak to make the vanilla druid shapeshifted not completely unuseful like is now but not more powered than a cleric or mage, where you have completely reworked the divine casters.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,392
    I understand, you were specifically talking about having a single shapeshift form that scales with levels - we only do that with werewolves (werewolf-->greater werewolf-->werewolf lord). Our other druids get static shapeshifts, and what scales with levels is *which form* you get.

    My rationale is, 1) it really doesn't make sense for any natural animal to scale to the power level of gods, which is what TOB is. And 2) you get TOB-level shapeshifts in the form of elementals, werewolf lord, and a shambling mound. Those are very powerful.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,987
    I agree with you, but if you look at the numbers that I give , 30 dpr with thac0 6 at lev 15, that for a druid is 3Mxp, I think that talking of the power level of god is a little too much.
    I was thinking at something that make the vanilla druid shapeshift ability something useful, and still very marginally useful, between the initial dungeon and the moment he gets the really good summons, the moment the druid can cast areal servant, fire elemental and elemental prince why should he shapeshift into a bear that deals maybe 10 dpr more than what he do normally with a sling and prevent himself from casting implosions, insect plagues and creeping dooms?

    Imo for a mod can be a good idea, certainly not unbalancing and it's purpose is just to add some flavor to the class, not power, to try to give some sense to an almost completely not useful class ability.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,392
    edited September 2016
    Eh, I'm not one for crunching DPR numbers, and I don't play with the cheesy EE "innovation" of giving STR damage bonus to slings.

    BUT, with my mod you can turn into a powerful bear that does multiple attacks with fairly high damage; and then if you start taking damage switch into a rat that is invisible for a short period, to get away from combat and assume natural form to heal yourself and maybe cast buffs; then assume a wolf form to moves very fast to close with the enemy quickly; then assume a bear firm again to mail the enemy. (The bear form is noticeably more powerful than the vanilla BG2 bear form, it has superhuman STR and multiple APR.) And you can do all of that at will, whenever it's convenient, not just once per day.

    Now, these will not quite cut it when you have 2,999,999 XP... but as soon as you hit 3 million you can get an HLA shapeshift like the Shambling Mound, which, I forget the exact stats but it is something like natural 0 thac0, 40% DR, 24 STR, 2 APR, doing 2-20 damage per hit in a mix of crushing and poison damage.

    Again: not trying to push anything on you, and I definitely get that this is different from something simpler, like a form that gets small bonuses every level (basically, something that mimics Wilson). Someone should absolutely make that mod also, it would make me happy if players could choose either one!

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,987
    Yes my idea is to create a shapeshifted form that mimics a much Weaker wilson, something very simple mainly to give a little more sense to the fact that druids can shapeshift, as is now is only a joke, like infravision.

    About pushing your mod on me, is not needed :smile:
    I already told you that I find it interesting and that I want to try it after playing a little the vanilla EE. But the notebook that I normally use for BG2 seems to be not compatible with EE, is installed and starts, but freezes during the character creation, and the one on which I am playing EE is shared with the rest of the family and we have no television. So we use it to listen to music (is connected with an hi fi amplifier), listen music, watch DVDs and I can not use it for long gaming sessions.

    So if your mod is compatible with the original game I can start trying it also tomorrow, other way I will do it later, depending on how much my family members use the computer with EE.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,392
    Unfortunately F&P is only compatible with EE, v2.0+ :(

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,987
    I imagine that nowadays you modders have your work to maintain the compatibility with the EE and its versions and I did not really expected that you care also to create a version of the mod for the original, that now is still used by few people, also I suppose that a mod like your has many compatibility problems to deal with as is so complex and operates so many changes in how the game works, maybe with a quest mod assuring the compatibility with the originals would be much easier.

    So I have to wait some time, but is surely on the list of the things to try, maybe right in the first modded run.

  • ear2earthenear2earthen Member Posts: 6
    Funnny how everyone just shits on shapshifts like its suposta be equal to a lvl 9 fighter with same thac0 ..example.. 1 web a chaos or insect plague and shape in sword spider with a baller off hand slay out the mages and weak enemys go back to caster and lay the dammer down..with.barkskin and some not so fancy gear my ac is -8 ay lvl 12..throw on improved invis...ohh and duhm in swrod spider form is fun 19 str hittn for 14 16 ish dmg 5apr alot of options and versatility.. different and fun..creepimg doom.. lawl

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