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SoD needs a good aligned tank early on

Anybody else have a problem of desperately needing a good aligned tank for the first two or so chapters? There is Minsc, but I had him set up as 2-handed DPS so his AC was quite bad and Khalid as my main tank (AC -8) and club and shield Jaheira as a light back up tank. I am playing a good aligned mage so my initial party was utterly squishy - two mages (Dynaheir and me), archer Corwin, rogue Safana (who I didn't want but she was the only "extra" NPC who even kind of made sense for my charname early game) and then finally I shoehorned in Glint. Before I got Glint, I didn't even have anybody who could cast healing spells so the squishiness was compounded. Minsc was routinely beaten to a bloody pulp after every moderate fight and I had to either rest spam or carry around tons of extra healing potions. Once I got Jaheira, it improved a little because she can be an okay tank, but before that I was actually starting to get genuinely peeved at the game.

Nothing to be done in patches at this point, but the devs might want to bear it in mind in future games. It's a problem I see a lot in RPGs that devs just sort of assume you are playing a big brawny guy and thus won't need a tank.

BelgarathMTHsemiticgoddess
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Comments

  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636
    Outrang said:

    Nothing to be done in patches at this point, but the devs might want to bear it in mind in future games. It's a problem I see a lot in RPGs that devs just sort of assume you are playing a big brawny guy and thus won't need a tank.

    No, I think devs assume that you would have a generally balanced party. You didn't.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,782
    the problem with having a "balanced" party in early SoD is that it can be kind of hard to do so

    when I play the bg/iwd series, I like having 3 melee guys, 1 cleric ranged, 1 thief ranged, and 1 mage ranged,

    but if you are playing a single player game of SoD that can be near impossible in the early parts

    I found that when I played, I was kind of low on the melee characters in the beginning as well, and my guys was a melee guy to boot,

    I think another problem as well is alignment clashing, especially for evil teams, how many melee characters do evil team options have? dorn? is that it? kind of really lack luster

    I would have been happy with the idea that ANYONE from bg1 could be transferred over to SoD, that would really help with party composition, and I almost don't know why they didn't do something like that anyhow, is it because they couldn't get the original voice actors for them? nay, jaheira has the exact same sound set as her bg1 counterpart so, i doubt that is the reason, its quite unfortunate really,

    but oh well, sometimes i guess that is just the way she goes boys

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,684
    SoD follow a mass effect code of conduct, where good or evil become irrelevant when the big picture is in focus.

    The game doesn't make deadly necessary to have a tank anyway early on, ayway you have minsc early on so...? Full plate on him and done.

    Evil parties have a hard time relying on Vicônia dex + full plate, but few on HP points. while not very balanced, it's pretty doable.

    The better course now is to make a multiplayer game and make a 2° character for tank pruposes, at least until they make a proper evil character to fit the role.

    My suggestion for the future? An alu-fiend or Half-Fiend more than happy to fuck a very well plotted Devil plans (not that main char should knew the entire background from the begin). After all, the blood war has to be carried on.

  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 881
    Minsc starts SoD with two pips in Mace. Give him one and a shield and he'll make a serviceable tank.

    JuliusBorisovThacoBell
  • OutrangOutrang Member Posts: 24
    edited September 2016

    Outrang said:

    Nothing to be done in patches at this point, but the devs might want to bear it in mind in future games. It's a problem I see a lot in RPGs that devs just sort of assume you are playing a big brawny guy and thus won't need a tank.

    No, I think devs assume that you would have a generally balanced party. You didn't.

    Right, I'm being admonished for requesting better options to build a balanced party by being told I should have a balanced party. That's some logic right there. I *did* have a perfectly balanced party consisting of tank (Khalid), DPS (Minsc), healer/backup tank (Jaheira), mage offensive (myself), mage buffer (Dynaheir), and rogue (Imoen) that also made sense from a role-playing perspective. Both my tank and backup tank were gone at the beginning of SOD. My whole issue is I *want* a balanced party that actually makes sense for a good aligned character to have. Even turning Minsc into a tank isn't the best option because Khalid and Jaheira had all my best tank equipment so his armor class even with mace and shield at the beginning of the game (from equipment available to buy from merchants) is only okay. He also only had 1 pip in mace for me because I built him to be a DPS 2 hander so on top of his mediocre AC, he would also only do mediocre damage compared to normal which just prolongs fights. He had the 3rd best armor because he was not the on point guy and all major AC boosting equipment went to Khalid and Jaheira.

    I'm talking about an imported game here and not going in vanilla.

    semiticgoddessineth
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited September 2016
    You don't NEED an optimised tank at the beginning of SoD. It simply isn't that difficult. Minsc is quite sufficient (and Viconia is suffient for evil parties). Also early in the game you can pick up M'Kiin, who can tank well with summons and makes sense in both good and evil parties. Oh yeah, and there are many, many healing potions in the game.

    I blame it on MMOs: "ahh! we can't move anywhere without a dedicated tank".

    JuliusBorisovRaduziel[Deleted User]ThacoBell
  • OutrangOutrang Member Posts: 24
    Fardragon said:

    You don't NEED an optimised tank at the beginning of SoD. It simply isn't that difficult. Minsc is quite sufficient (and Viconia is suffient for evil parties). Also early in the game you can pick up M'Kiin, who can tank well with summons and makes sense in both good and evil parties. Oh yeah, and there are many, many healing potions in the game.

    I blame it on MMOs: "ahh! we can't move anywhere without a dedicated tank".

    I've never played an MMO in my life. I've played every Infinity Engine game built and have been doing so for years, not that this is the least bit relevant to my point but apparently "cred" matters here so I'll just drop that.

    I had enough trouble with it that it was annoying. Rest spamming and health potion spamming is neither efficient nor fun. It wasn't really just the lack of a tank but the lack of a tank + good healer at the beginning. These two problems exacerbated each other.

  • LiluraLilura Member Posts: 148
    It seems a lot of posters here don't know what a tank is.

  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 881
    Outrang said:

    Even turning Minsc into a tank isn't the best option because Khalid and Jaheira had all my best tank equipment so his armor class even with mace and shield at the beginning of the game (from equipment available to buy from merchants) is only okay. He also only had 1 pip in mace for me because I built him to be a DPS 2 hander so on top of his mediocre AC, he would also only do mediocre damage compared to normal which just prolongs fights. He had the 3rd best armor because he was not the on point guy and all major AC boosting equipment went to Khalid and Jaheira.

    I'm talking about an imported game here and not going in vanilla.

    The first time I played SoD I finished BG1 with Kagain and Shar-Teel as sole physical fighters. I had no other choice than using Minsc as a tank because an evil party has absolutely no one meatshieldy enough until Dorn, who actually sucks at taking hits.

    Minsc works. He's not perfect but he'll do until you get back Khalid and Jaheira. Add M'Khiin who can summon spirits at will to lighten his load and you'll be all set.

    ThacoBell
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited September 2016
    Outrang said:

    Fardragon said:

    You don't NEED an optimised tank at the beginning of SoD. It simply isn't that difficult. Minsc is quite sufficient (and Viconia is suffient for evil parties). Also early in the game you can pick up M'Kiin, who can tank well with summons and makes sense in both good and evil parties. Oh yeah, and there are many, many healing potions in the game.

    I blame it on MMOs: "ahh! we can't move anywhere without a dedicated tank".

    I've never played an MMO in my life. I've played every Infinity Engine game built and have been doing so for years, not that this is the least bit relevant to my point but apparently "cred" matters here so I'll just drop that.

    I had enough trouble with it that it was annoying. Rest spamming and health potion spamming is neither efficient nor fun. It wasn't really just the lack of a tank but the lack of a tank + good healer at the beginning. These two problems exacerbated each other.
    Are you playing on a higher than core rules difficulty? Because I completed SoD on core with Minsc as the only warrior in the party for the first 3 chapters, and had no need to spam rest or use Health Potions more than occasionally.

    If you aren't playing on core rules, it seems a bit contradictory to turn up the difficulty then complain the game is too difficult.

  • OutrangOutrang Member Posts: 24
    edited September 2016
    Lilura said:

    It seems a lot of posters here don't know what a tank is.

    No idea if this is directed at me or not but a tank is simply a guy that takes aggro effectively and can keep enemies targeted on himself and last a long time either through ludicrous amounts of hitpoints *or* being hard to hit. Nobody in your party has ludicrous amounts of hitpoints in this game without cheating. It is quite possible for Minsc (sitting at 96 hitpoints for me now, less when SOD started because he was lower level) to be killed in 4 or 5 blows by a pair of competent melee enemies or picked quickly to pieces by archers if his armor class sucks. If you encounter a group of archers, even mundane low level orcs, and every single one of them targets Minsc and decimates him in 5 seconds, they are then going to shred the squishier parts of your party. No amount of health potion spamming will fix this. You can't physically drink potions fast enough to deal with the amount of damage being done that quickly. And this is caused by his armor class being terrible. It's also simply not fun to have 75% of all my fights consist of manually healing Minsc over and over and over again. Alternatives to this are equally monotonous like: invisibility on mage, sneak up and fireball/cloudkill/whatever, rest, repeat, repeat, repeat.

    For the other posters. I'm playing on default rules. I have not upped the difficulty. The main game only gives me issues in spots that were supposed to give me issues (Aec'Letec, wolfwere boss in Balduran's ship, being unprepared and getting attacked by a pack of basilisks or sirens, etc.) The whole reason I'm posting this is because I know the beginning of SOD is not supposed to be hard or tedious, but it became so. It only reaffirms my point that as soon as I got Khalid and Jaheira back, I immediately stopped having any trouble.

    For the person essentially saying evil parties have it even worse, I really fail to see how that undermines my point. If anything that just reinforces it. You can just amend it to "lack of a decent tank *period* at the beginning of the game."

    Another approach that would work just as well is just to give me access to all my equipment, even that which happened to be equipped on party members during the fight with Sarevok. If I had the really nice shields and plate and such that they had, I would have had no issues getting Minsc to a good armor class. I had assorted hit point boosting equipment as well.

    How often do you guys rest? Maybe I'm stingy with resting or something, but it seems broken to me if the expectation is I'm going to rest after every single fight.

    I haven't tried M'Khiin but I will in future playthroughs. Reason I skipped her is because I didn't realize frankly she was a shaman and not just a cleric and I already had a healer at that point so I didn't really need another. I haven't used a shaman yet so how does her summoning work? If it's summon, rest, summon, rest like all other spells, it doesn't seem to improve the monotony or rest spamming problem.

  • DoubledimasDoubledimas Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 1,285
    A shaman's summon works via her Shamanic dance ability. Activate the ability and she will start summoning (but is rooted in place). You can stop and start again without needing to rest (if I'm not mistaken).

    Fardragon
  • rapsam2003rapsam2003 Member Posts: 1,636
    Lilura said:

    It seems a lot of posters here don't know what a tank is.

    To use the term correctly, one has to even have a concept of aggro in a game, which D&D does not have. And then you need to be 1) able to taunt ALL the things & 2) survive all the things.

    Fardragon
  • OutrangOutrang Member Posts: 24
    When I say enemies have aggro toward a target I mean that is the target they are most likely to attack. In this game, the AI is quite simple and so aggro basically consists of "whoever the enemy happens to see first." This is why formations matter as much as they do in this game. I have a formation in which squishy charname is in the center, Khalid is at the point in front of him and Minsc and Jaheira are to Khalid's left and right. To top this off, Khalid has boots of speed, which pretty much guarantees he is the first guy enemies will see and who they will attack. His armor class is such that literally 8 archers can be attacking him and miss like 70+% of the time. If that's not a tank I don't know what is.

  • PsiryuPsiryu Member Posts: 9
    edited September 2016
    D&D doesn't really conform to the role trinity, at least not until 4th edition, so there aren't any good aligned "tanks" because the role doesn't exist.
    That said you still have options. You have Minsc, have you tired giving him a shield instead of a two handed sword? What about potions, a potion of defense will set his AC to 0 which will make him much harder to hit, it lasts 10 minutes and is fairly easy to procure. You should have the gauntlets of dexterity, that will reduce his AC as well.

    There's another option. Drop Minsc and Dynaheir and grab Viconia and someone else. Give her the helm of opposite alignment, the gauntlets of ogre power, full plate and a shield. She'll not have much health but she should have pretty close to -10 AC and she can heal.

    Edit: Another thought. You have two mages, I don't know what school you are but I'll assume it's not divination, so you have two people that can cast summon monsters. So why not summon up a few monsters, let them take the heat. Grab some scrolls or wands if you don't want to waste spell slots.

    Post edited by Psiryu on
    DJKajuru
  • dockaboomskidockaboomski Member Posts: 440
    I think in general SoD could use more NPCs, which would solve numerous problems.

    OutrangDJKajurusemiticgoddessrorikon
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    for a short game it has a lot of NPCs. it's strange to talk about "problems" when it comes to strategic choices in forming a party, which distills down to the combat aspect of the game - when SoD has n times better and more fluid combat than BG1 or BG2 (seriously).

    semiticgoddess
  • OutrangOutrang Member Posts: 24
    edited September 2016

    I think in general SoD could use more NPCs, which would solve numerous problems.

    This is a sentiment I can agree with. They don't even have to all be terribly fleshed out characters. Heck, letting the player hire various generic "mercenaries" would probably work.

    Though obviously more fleshed out characters is always nice to have as well.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,629
    at that point why not just make a tank yourself in the create a party feature?

  • OutrangOutrang Member Posts: 24
    edited September 2016

    at that point why not just make a tank yourself in the create a party feature?

    Obviously I would prefer fleshed out characters. That solution is not ideal. And as for not creating my own party, it was an imported game as I said. I just needed some temporary placeholder person for like 2 chapters. This happens in the main game as well. I had various placeholders before going to Nashkel to get Minsc and Dynaheir because I didn't want to deal with his gnoll stronghold timer yet. BG just has significantly higher numbers of fairly generic party members to chose from.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    But Minsc *is* a good tank. For a long time he was my only tank. Viconia is also one of the best healers in the series and can easily get a stupid low armor class. You have Dynaheir so she should be able to at least somewhat crowd control. Mkhiin has been mentioned already and she's fantastic at handling crowds. You had all the tools you needed, you simply failed to fully utilize them.

  • OutrangOutrang Member Posts: 24

    But Minsc *is* a good tank. For a long time he was my only tank. Viconia is also one of the best healers in the series and can easily get a stupid low armor class. You have Dynaheir so she should be able to at least somewhat crowd control. Mkhiin has been mentioned already and she's fantastic at handling crowds. You had all the tools you needed, you simply failed to fully utilize them.

    He's a good tank *if* he has been built to be one and *if* all your best equipment isn't with Khalid and Jaheira who are who knows where or *if* there is decent merchant early game. None of these things were the case. It also makes 0 sense for my party to have Viconia in it. It makes as much sense as a conniving backstabbing thief character to take Keldorn and Mazzy Fentan around. They may have changed the mechanic but it used to be that evil characters would refuse to even stay with you if your reputation was 20, which mine was.

    DJKajuru
  • DarkenRevanDarkenRevan Member Posts: 11
    I've never had a tank problem. My character is always a front line berserker or paladin with the best armor and items next to Minsc. I always see a fighter or paladin type class as the best option for Gorion's Ward since you can then configure your party with companions based on your other needs since they're always available for good and evil aligned parties.

    SOD good party:

    Gorion's Ward (Paladin) - 2 Handed Sword
    Minsc - 2 Handed Sword OR Khalid - Long Sword and Shield
    Corwin - Archer....she's a ranger, she likes to range
    Glint - Sling OR Safana - Archer
    Dynaheir OR Jahiera - both using slings
    Neera - Sling

    In BG1 I had both pairs of M&D (I got D killed because I wanted Neera) and J&K but I wanted Corwin around at all times. She gets really good stats as the game progresses due to items that I had or find that she can use as an archer.

    SOD Evil Party:
    Gorion's Ward (Berserker) - 2 Handed Sword
    Dorn - 2 Handed Sword
    Viconia - Sling
    Safana - Archer
    Edwin - Sling
    Baeloth - Darts

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    I've played through all SoD with only Minsc as a tank. Using armors that allowed Stealth. And dual wielding.

    My party was charname (Enchanter), Dynaheir, Minsc, Glint, Corwin and Viconia.

    I really can't understand why he can't fit this role on your run.

    ThacoBellFardragon
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Outrang said:

    But Minsc *is* a good tank. For a long time he was my only tank. Viconia is also one of the best healers in the series and can easily get a stupid low armor class. You have Dynaheir so she should be able to at least somewhat crowd control. Mkhiin has been mentioned already and she's fantastic at handling crowds. You had all the tools you needed, you simply failed to fully utilize them.

    He's a good tank *if* he has been built to be one and *if* all your best equipment isn't with Khalid and Jaheira who are who knows where or *if* there is decent merchant early game. None of these things were the case. It also makes 0 sense for my party to have Viconia in it. It makes as much sense as a conniving backstabbing thief character to take Keldorn and Mazzy Fentan around. They may have changed the mechanic but it used to be that evil characters would refuse to even stay with you if your reputation was 20, which mine was.
    Its war and Viconia is a fellow soldier. Bam reason right there.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    There are several decent merchants early in the game.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    and decent obtainable items too

    Fardragon
  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 677
    edited September 2016
    You find elemental summoning scrolls as well, later on at least. They can act as meat shields decently and buff them with a few cleric spells and you're good to go.

    The presence of more evil or neutral melee warriors would have been appreciated though. Nothing game breaking, just a preference.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,632
    @Outrang , I hear you on the problems caused by Jaheira and Khalid leaving the party in the early game for SoD. I learned the hard way after the first time to make sure to put all my best tanking equipment on Minsc before SoD starts, because they left with my ankheg armor, my best shields, and some of my best weapons. Nothing available at the early merchants in SoD, during the pre-J&K portion of the game, which is a pretty sizable chunk of it, came even close to what I lost when they abandoned me.

    @semiticgod also encountered the problem in his no-reload run after he lost both Minsc and Rasaad to chunking. He was playing a magic heavy party, and he immediately noticed the lack of recruitable tanks, and commented on it. He did power on through and succeed at his no-reload, though.

    Anyway, I mostly agree with you. I've learned, though, that there's little sense banging your head against a wall trying to make people around this forum see the flaws in SoD, some of which are pretty big in my opinion.

    semiticgoddessJuliusBorisovXKalrorikon
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