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The LoB + SCS Solo Challenge and the Tales of IWDification

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Comments

  • Victor_Creed_SFVVictor_Creed_SFV Member Posts: 584
    edited September 12
    Arno wrote: »
    Hi, Arno again.

    I have been playing less hours this last months but I'm still in the Challenge.

    My generalist mage has cleaned all the missions available during chapter 2 (BG2). With one exception: the one relative to the druid's trial. I can't join Cernd to my group and he always fails miserably in the fight vs Faldorn. I have tried to make him better with some spells, but the result is always the same. Any hint with this?

    Now I'm going to pay to the thieves so they could help me find Imoen.

    More notices another day!

    Can't you cast Improved Invis on him even is he is not in your group, before entering the cave? That usually breaks the fight, since she can't insect plague him.

    Grond0semiticgodCrevsDaakhistamiini
  • ArnoArno Member Posts: 24
    semiticgod wrote: »
    @Arno: The latest version of SCS, v32, should make Cernd immortal during the fight, as he was in vanilla. If he fails, that's a bug. I usually use CTRL-Y when I get that bug.

    Thx for your wisdow. I`m groing to install scs vs 32. I dont like to use "cheats" :)

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 100
    edited September 18
    histamiini wrote: »
    I've been advancing Cavalier slowly but surely, SoA almost over. One interesting thing I found is that apparently SCS now puts Helm of Opposite Alignment on Teshal at Undead Bridge. This is perfect for Cavalier as it allows using Soul Reaver +4 before turning evil in Hell, and upgrading Carsomyr to +6 afterwards, as restricted items can be used if you don't remove them from quick slots.

    So much insight in 3 sentences ^^.

    Although, you would have a problem to use Carsormyr+6 : when you upgrade it from Cespenar, it actually leaves your quick slot and you get it back in your pack. How would you be able to equip it afterwards ?


    On another note : an update on my FMC in ToB :
    FMC becomes a beast once you have a few HLAs under your belt (of Fire Giant Strength).
    Since access to Improved Haste renders Whirlwind almost obsolete, and Mindflayer form has crappy thac0 (even with strength enhancing gear and buffs), the Critical Strike HLA is your best tool.

    I did not play long, finished Saradush : Gromnir's battle was a bit difficult, but less so than in my other LoB runs. I don't remember exactly how I beat him (was a few weeks ago already), but Spell Sequencer --> 3x Skeletons + Contingency --> Project Image was the initial setup, with a cast of True Sight beforehand to dispel this pesky assassin's stealth.
    Next was a mix of Time Stop scrolls from my Image & Simulacrum (from the helmet, did not reach lvl16 yet at the time), debuffs & psionic blasts+webs on the group near the stairs, eating the mage's brains while in Time Stop, and then focus fire on Gromnir himself.
    I remember that I did not manage to eat both mage's brains before Time Stop ran out, and the surviving one had enough time to cast his own time stop, allowing him notably to cast a Death Spell that would have killed all my summons (managed to "aggro" the spell with one Skelly, without losing the rest of the summons) and dispel my Project Image (which actually was no big deal, since he already used his Time Stop scroll, had enough time to cast a few debuffs and invoke a Brain-eating Simulacrum, and I needed control of my main FMC to melee Gromnir).

    The second mage fell rapidly afterwards, FMC re-summoned 2 skellies and joined them in melee against Gromnir, while the Simulacrum ate the remaining mercenarie's brains.

    Afterwards, I made my way to Watcher's keep, easily cleared the first 2 levels without avoiding any fight.
    The maze level was rushed (especially in those anti-magic rooms) without much fighting (except one of the Demon's group, a bit tough but relatively OK by now with a Deva & skellies to aggro, main FMC & Simulacrum to debuff / eat brains).
    Hit the XP cap : lvl 8 spells, many Critical Strikes, quite powerful indeed ! (main lvl8 slot was for Spell Trigger -> Improved Haste + Champion's Strength + Tenser Transformation : not that big of a buff to thac0 as on a plain sorcerer, but still useful when in Mindflayer form).

    I arrived in Lum the Mad's level, but did not avance further for a week or two though.

    Post edited by monico on
    histamiiniStummvonBordwehrCrevsDaakGrond0
  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,242
    @monico Yeah Mindflayer form is pretty doom for all (not immune to +3 weapons) with either Critical Strikes or Time Stops. Time Stop is slightly safer, but Critical Strike allows multiple clones to feast at the same time. How many clones can FMC link starting from Project Image? I don't remember testing it.

    Helm of Opposite Alignment should allow upgrading Carsomyr, as I can switch being evil and good. Although not that I can test it now, as my Cavalier run came to an end. I lost my Cavalier abilities trying to get the AC tear from the Hell trials. :s AC tear is much bigger gamble, than the STR tear, which I could even have skipped as Cavalier doesn't need currently AC to beat Melissan.

    StummvonBordwehrCrevsDaaksemiticgodGrond0
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 100
    histamiini wrote: »
    How many clones can FMC link starting from Project Image? I don't remember testing it.

    I remember having tested it. But I also remember having forgotten the results :smiley:

    What happened to your Cavalier ? Not sure I understand : you planned to go evil during the Hell's Trials no ? You knew the result would be a loss of Cavalier abilities, so I'm not sure I understand the problem you faced

  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,242
    @monico

    Turning evil and losing abilities is separate event for paladins, and for example you can use the Helm of Opposite Alignment to be evil without getting fallen. Generally only way of getting fallen paladin is to drop your reputation to 6. The other way to fall is to get the evil STR or AC tear in Hell, and possibly some of the others. And even there the alignment change and falling isn't really linked, but it runs a script in the respected level that makes you lose your abilities. Then when you use the tear on the wall, alignment changes. Now there's a way to beat the fall-scripts:

    Test of Selfishness

    Talk to the demon, then quickly back up so it doesn't force the dialogue further. Cast Silence on the peasant out of sight, then cast Death Ward on him. Then with Boots of Speed and Oil of Speed open the doors on right and pause. Then direct your character to the exit and let him run as far as he can. The demon talks to you on the way, and gives you the tear, pause, and direct your character to the exit.

    Test of Wrath

    Again you need Boots of Speed and Oil of Speed, then cast Farsight on wraith Sarevok. This way he doesn't activate dialogue immediately when he sees you and you get enough time to charm him with the Control Circlet through his 100 Magic Resistance. Make Sarevok attack you, so that he follows you to the main area. Then attack him, take the evil route, and kill him. Then click back to the wrath area, pausing before you arrive, then click back to the exit.

    STR-tear is generally safe to get without losing abilities, AC-tear is a gamble. This is the way for Cavalier to get undispellable 25 STR without Crom Fayer (and 10 apr Critical Strikes), hit AC-cap, and get ability to wield both Carsomyr +5 and Soul Reaver +4, without getting fallen. So it's pretty big event for a Cavalier. Now that Melissan can be ranged, AC isn't that big of a deal, and I should've just skipped the AC-tear.

    StummvonBordwehrCrevsDaakGrond0
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,627
    @histamiini: What do you mean about being able to range Melissan?

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,356
    semiticgod wrote: »
    @histamiini: What do you mean about being able to range Melissan?

    That's presumably referring to teleporting to closed areas where melee weapons can't reach you.

    CrevsDaak
  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,242
    edited September 18
    @semiticgod Yeah as the paths to the pools are now closed, you can teleport in there and block Melissan's path. She doesn't teleport onto you if she sees you, so you can just lure her to the block and then teleport to the other side. Then you can casually range her holding Reflection Shield.

    StummvonBordwehrCrevsDaakVictor_Creed_SFV
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 699
    histamiini wrote: »
    I've been advancing Cavalier slowly but surely, SoA almost over. One interesting thing I found is that apparently SCS now puts Helm of Opposite Alignment on Teshal at Undead Bridge. This is perfect for Cavalier as it allows using Soul Reaver +4 before turning evil in Hell, and upgrading Carsomyr to +6 afterwards, as restricted items can be used if you don't remove them from quick slots.
    Hi @histamiini
    About the helmet of opposite alignment. I think it’s this mod that does it:
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/56567/mod-bgii-ee-unofficial-item-pack

    Grond0CrevsDaak
  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,242
    edited September 19
    @StummvonBordwehr I don't have that mod so it can't be it. I only have Ascension, SCS and https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/76631/mod-siege-of-dragonspear-2-baldurs-gate2-ee-item-upgrade/p1 installed, and the last mod doesn't mention it. Don't know how to confirm it though.

    EDIT: Ok I uninstalled the item upgrade mod, and Helm of Opposite Alignment is gone, so it's that mod.

    Post edited by histamiini on
    StummvonBordwehrGrond0CrevsDaaksemiticgod
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 100
    histamiini wrote: »
    @monico

    Turning evil and losing abilities is separate event for paladins, and for example you can use the Helm of Opposite Alignment to be evil without getting fallen. Generally only way of getting fallen paladin is to drop your reputation to 6. The other way to fall is to get the evil STR or AC tear in Hell, and possibly some of the others. And even there the alignment change and falling isn't really linked, but it runs a script in the respected level that makes you lose your abilities. Then when you use the tear on the wall, alignment changes. Now there's a way to beat the fall-scripts:

    Test of Selfishness

    Talk to the demon, then quickly back up so it doesn't force the dialogue further. Cast Silence on the peasant out of sight, then cast Death Ward on him. Then with Boots of Speed and Oil of Speed open the doors on right and pause. Then direct your character to the exit and let him run as far as he can. The demon talks to you on the way, and gives you the tear, pause, and direct your character to the exit.

    Test of Wrath

    Again you need Boots of Speed and Oil of Speed, then cast Farsight on wraith Sarevok. This way he doesn't activate dialogue immediately when he sees you and you get enough time to charm him with the Control Circlet through his 100 Magic Resistance. Make Sarevok attack you, so that he follows you to the main area. Then attack him, take the evil route, and kill him. Then click back to the wrath area, pausing before you arrive, then click back to the exit.

    STR-tear is generally safe to get without losing abilities, AC-tear is a gamble. This is the way for Cavalier to get undispellable 25 STR without Crom Fayer (and 10 apr Critical Strikes), hit AC-cap, and get ability to wield both Carsomyr +5 and Soul Reaver +4, without getting fallen. So it's pretty big event for a Cavalier. Now that Melissan can be ranged, AC isn't that big of a deal, and I should've just skipped the AC-tear.

    Had to read it 2 times before understanding the round about !

    So, basically, you are saying that the paladin (i guess same for rangers) only loses his abilities in Hell when :
    - he takes an evil route in one of the tasks
    - stays in the room where he completed said evil task.

    So you "just" have to do the test outside of the room (or exit the room fast enough) so that the script doesn't trigger, right ?

    But then, why did you need to enter-exit the Wrath room AFTER having killed Sarevok in the main room ? Don't you get the tear automatically when you kill Sarevok ? Or do you need to be in the room ?

  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,242
    edited September 23
    @monico Correct, you only get tear and can fall in the test rooms. That's also why you need to go back to Wrath room the get the tear, and be quick enough to exit so the fall-script doesn't execute.

    monicoCrevsDaak
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 100
    ok I see. thanks for the clarification ;)

    Last question though : why would you need your Paladin to be evil-aligned ? For the silver-dragon armor ?

  • histamiinihistamiini Member Posts: 1,242
    edited September 23
    @monico Soul Reaver +4 is the best antiboss weapon in the game, and can be only wielded by evil aligned. Also you can't use any of the evil tears without turning to evil, so that will happen anyway if you use the STR or AC tear.

    Grond0CrevsDaak
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 100
    histamiini wrote: »
    @monico Soul Reaver +4 is the best antiboss weapon in the game, and can be only wielded by evil aligned. Also you can't use any of the evil tears without turning to evil, so that will happen anyway if you use the STR or AC tear.

    dumb me, I thought you were talking about the anti-paladin sword from Watcher's Keep. Yeah, Soul Reaver is awesome indeed (... and I have never used it in my thousands of games... after all this time, i'm still a n00b ^^)

  • monicomonico Member Posts: 100
    Welcome aboard !

    Finishing BG1 solo LoB is not that much more difficult than regular BG1, it is just different strategies (well, cheese).

    The definition of cheese is a very grey area, and changes from player to player.
    For example, I don’t mind abusing Fog of War, recharging wands, farming basilisks (charm one, keep petrifying-unpetrifying the non hostile one until satisfied), but, for some reason, XP cap removal or uber-gear like Crom Faeyr seem too cheesy for me. It is just a question of playstyle I would say.

    And solo LoB, especially in SoD, requires at least some mild cheese imho.

    Where are you exactly in SoD ?
    Many fights can be avoided, but the two really difficult and unavoidable fights are:
    - the crusaders attacks on the coalition camp, 4 waves of attacker and the last one is unending if you don’t kill the named officers, and will soon overflow you.
    - of course, the last battle. Big B has in LoB more than a thousand HP, strikes fast and hard, summons waves upon waves of demons, all the while turning invisible and teleporting around the battlefield.

    Those are the main battles you have to plan ahead for.

    Quick tip, if you are a warrior class, don’t forget to grab Durlag’s Goblet in BG1, and once in SoD buy all the Potion of Heroism you find, the HP gain is cumulative so you cans hurg dozens of Potions of Heroism before the last battle to get very high HP.
    As a thief class, Potion of Power does the same (actually, it is better but with shorter duration), but it is more rare (not so much in SoD though).

    For your particular Shadowdancer, it will be very difficult. You won’t have much to threaten Big B in terms of damage output, and I am almost certain that Big B can see through invisibility.
    Not sure if his minions can’t do the same to be honest.

    BlackravenAerakarStummvonBordwehrCrevsDaak
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,210
    Yes Big B can see through invisibility, though he can still be backstabbed if you have him focus on Caelar or summons. Of the other fiends only the Erinyes can see through invisibility.
    I haven't played LoB in a while but I agree that Shadowdancers look hard-pressed to dish out good damage against B. I'd save the violet potion you can buy at the Nashkel Carnival for that fight. It sets Strength to 25 for 24 hours while reducing Dex and Con to 3 each, so you'll need to drink potions of agility and fortitude to negate those penalties. If you equip a weapon with a low speed factor such as Aule's Staff or the staff you get from Thrix, you should be able to hit B fairly reliably, especially with potions of power boosting Thac0, and fairly hard too. A pip in two weapon fighting reduces speed factor to 0 with said staves.

    AerakarGrond0StummvonBordwehrCrevsDaak
  • BlackravenBlackraven Member Posts: 3,210
    @Kyzee, I meant two handed weapon fighting for faster staff backstabs, sorry for the confusion.

    As for backstabbing Big B, I haven't tried it myself, but rather than trying to charm enemies I think you could try to use your own summons to occupy Big B so you can backstab him. (Stone Ally, Water Elementals, Awesome Ankhegs, maybe I'm missing something). Summons get a HP bonus in LoB so might survive a few rounds. Not sure how many HPs Caelar has. In non-LoB runs I've successfully used Greater Restoration scrolls to keep her alive and draw B's aggro.

    StummvonBordwehrCrevsDaak
  • KyzeeKyzee Member Posts: 5
    No worries about confusion, just wanted to make sure there wasn't something special I was missing haha

    I guess that's the plan, summon as many mobs as I can, and start backstabbing away. I'll try and see if healing Caelar works, because that could be an awesome thing, keep her alive and just use her as a free tank. Thanks for the idea's!

    StummvonBordwehrCrevsDaak
  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 13,627
    edited October 6
    @Kyzee: Welcome to the challenge! Good to have new people joining in. For what it's worth, soloing BG1 is impressive regardless of the difficulty, and LoB mode is even more punishing. I would say a little pride is justified. :smile:

    Summoned critters lasted less than 2 rounds in LoB mode in the previous update, but the -11 AC from v2.5 might change that. Regardless, I don't think the situation changes much for a single-classed thief. You won't get many chances at backstabs before your summons disappear and Belhifet will always be facing you.

    Healing Caelar isn't going to help much. Belhifet and company will overwhelm her even if you heal her every round, and the 20 or so Greater Restoration scrolls you have are only going to last for so long.

    Potions of Heroism and Power will increase your HP with each drink, but the THAC0 bonus won't stack (the stacking THAC0 bonuses discussed earlier in this thread were from Champion's Strength). The best THAC0 a Shadowdancer will ever achieve with a +3 weapon in SoD is -7 without removing the XP cap. Belhifet will have -20 base AC and -24 with Improved Invisibility, so you can very slowly kill him assuming infinite stealth (note that the Cloverleaf Belt will prevent the 1% chance of stealth failure you would otherwise have). It's a very long fight, though, and fumbling things can still get you killed if you're not careful.

    Most of the fight will be running around under stealth and then hitting Belhifet with Aule's Staff before immediately pausing, using stealth again, and running away so the demons don't all teleport on top of you, pin you in place, and make it impossible for you to run away from Belhifet's swords (he can see through stealth).

    StummvonBordwehrCrevsDaak
  • KyzeeKyzee Member Posts: 5
    @semiticgod, I'll make it work haha, once I actually get to him, I might just take a couple days slowly working him down, in multiple sittings or something. I might decide to remove the xp cap just so I can possibly hit -8 Thac0 just to make it slightly better on my part, but I'll see. So even summoning creatures wont take his eyes off me? He will just tunnel vision me the entire time? Or would a summon allow for me to at least get a backstab in before their timely demise?

    I read through your play through on your NR Archer, and I feel like after that, I can put the work in and get this done, no matter how long it'll take. I'll post updates every once and a while on how things are rocking, but I'll just start by gathering all the gear first and make my way there. I've never played SoD before, so its a first time seeing everything, so I'm sure it'll take some time before Belhifet.

    Thanks a ton for this input though! And sure, I do feel a little good about beating BG1 solo on LoB

    semiticgodStummvonBordwehrCrevsDaak
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 100
    edited October 7
    Kyzee wrote: »
    Thanks so much for the info! Really helps me out!

    Firstly, definitely cried a little when you said, BG1 is pretty much the same in LoB as regular, I felt I had achieved something great.

    Sorry mate, I did not mean to undermine your achievement. It is an impressive achievement, and I remember the feeling I had when I first finished BG1 solo, let alone in LoB, it did feel very good ;)

    My point was more that, while I think that with enough metagaming and cheese, any class might be able to beat Sarevok even in LoB, Siege of Dragonspear and the final battle in particular are another story.

    But it may just be me lacking meta-knowledge of the campaign, while I have finished BG1 so many times over the years that I know what to expect and how to respond.

    My first solo-LoB run was with a FMC, supposedly one of the stronger classes for solo runs, and Big B proved too difficult for my level of playing (and I was ill prepared, missing a few key items that would have made it possible, or at least, less random).

    And that was me having acess to fighter thac0/APR, and magic from both arcane and divine pool... My FMC continued in BG2 and managed to reach ToB before finally succumbing to my chronical restartisis.

    Right now, I have 3 runs:
    - a serious solo-LoB with a Cavalier, who just reached the coalition camp. I avoided many fights in BG1 at first, but by the end it is powerful and straightforward. Quite enjoyable.
    - a solo-LoB just for fun with a Totemic Druid imported from the black pits (uber cheese, even cheaty). With access to lvl6 spells, it poses almost no challenge since Spirit Animals and Fire Elementals can handle everything (the Fire Elementals are even immune to Sarevok’s weapon...). It was just a recreational run, the idea was that my druid would finish the game with no personal kills (in fact, he never used a weapon nor a direct-damage spell)
    - the above mentioned run made me want to try a pacifist run (detailed in another thread, since it is not LoB, and not at all a similar challenge to this one). The idea being to not kill anyone (just the ones blocking the story from advancing, and there are not that much : Mulahey, Davaeorn, doppelgangers from Ducal Palace, and Sarevok)

    In fact, I am thinking about trying a similar minimal-kills challenge but in LoB difficulty, probably with a Shadowdancer (maybe dualed in BG2 to a mage).

    Anyway, I wish you good luck and, most importantly, much fun with your Shadowdancer ! Keep us posted about your advancement, I am very curious as to what a single-class thief can do in SoD

    KyzeeStummvonBordwehrCrevsDaak
  • KyzeeKyzee Member Posts: 5
    @monico Don't worry, you did not undermine the achievement at all haha I was just joking around.

    I have played both BG1 and BG2 all my life on and off. I have never beaten the game with a party, I have only beaten it solo, and I've actually only beaten it as a thief. First time was a solo Assassin on Insane, and now this run through. I also too suffer from Restartisis, and that's why I've never really done it on anything else, I also always manage to gravitate back to Thief, something about the class draws me in, and I hate every other class lol

    Minimal-kills challenge honestly sounds like so much fun! I guess it would also be a sub level like 5 challenge as well since you'd be getting zero xp from just the mandatory kills. If I would've thought about that challenge I would've done it on this run through, I pretty well charmed everyone anyways to do all the killing, I think I only maybe killed a few dozen creatures with my Shadowdancer so far lol

    Best of luck on your runs as well! And I'll be sure to surprise everyone what a single-class Thief can do!

    StummvonBordwehrCrevsDaak
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 100
    Kyzee wrote: »

    Minimal-kills challenge honestly sounds like so much fun! I guess it would also be a sub level like 5 challenge as well since you'd be getting zero xp from just the mandatory kills.

    Well, you’d be surprised how much XP there is lying around, especially in BG city:
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/76969/minimal-rest-and-kills-run-an-almost-pacifist-tale-solo

    I finished BG1 with just under 120k XP (although a good 20-30k of them came from a charmed basilisk petrifying all the other basilisks).
    Leveling up in BG2 is easier with XP from traps/locks/scrolls.

    KyzeeStummvonBordwehrCrevsDaak
  • Victor_Creed_SFVVictor_Creed_SFV Member Posts: 584
    A single class thief can beat Big B, @Harpagornis already did that with invis potions no less, as long as you abuse find traps to reset stealth cooldown before you attack you will at least not have to worry about healing in between since your aura will always be clear.
    (tbf Harpa's run was before the AC bug I think so hitting him will be a little harder so the fight will take even longer)
    You can't rely on backstabs but you might still get the 4 attack bonus for attacking from stealth.
    prepare for a several hours long fight tho, since Big B also regens.

    monicoStummvonBordwehrAerakarCrevsDaak
  • monicomonico Member Posts: 100
    edited October 7
    A single class thief can beat Big B, @Harpagornis already did that with invis potions no less, as long as you abuse find traps to reset stealth cooldown before you attack you will at least not have to worry about healing in between since your aura will always be clear.
    (tbf Harpa's run was before the AC bug I think so hitting him will be a little harder so the fight will take even longer)
    You can't rely on backstabs but you might still get the 4 attack bonus for attacking from stealth.
    prepare for a several hours long fight tho, since Big B also regens.

    Good to know ! Do you happen to have a link or at least the name of the character he used ? It would help finding the reports (there are already 183 pages in this thread ^^)


    EDIT : found it, it was in the early days of this thread ;)
    Here's the page with the beginning of his run through SoD
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/62202/the-lob-scs-solo-challenge-and-the-mother-of-all-questions-no-reload-or-poverty/p28

    StummvonBordwehrVictor_Creed_SFVAerakarCrevsDaak
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