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Do you think that some spells are overrated?

I think most of the direct damage spells aren't so good, but that's because I play SCS I think. Enemies are smart enough that I want to use canon fodder, and mage killers syuch breach, pierce magic a lot. On top of this, I find the melee guys are very good at inflicting hurt, and that my mage has no need of adding to it. I'd rather memorize haste over fireball, breach or pierce magic over sunfire or cone of cold or any of them. I take lots of magic missle though, and abi dalzims horrid wilting in a chain contingency.

OrlonKronsteenAerakar
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Comments

  • FrancoisFrancois Member Posts: 452
    I also don't memorize many damaging spells. I usually cast them from wands when needed. Aganazar's scorcher from wand works beautifully against groups of enemies weak to fire like undead and trolls.

    Quartz
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,302
    Yes, I do think that some spells are overrated.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,094
    Time Stop must be one of the most overrated spells. People often misunderstand how it really works out, and think it's a damage gain to disable your entire party (save one), when really all it does is give you a DEFENSE boost by stopping enemy damage at the cost of some of your own damage. I suspect it has to do with the whole "time" theme, and if the spell was simply named differently and worded as it stunning everything except the caster people would not be so inclined to misinterpret it...

    Also Druid spells, basically all of them.

    Quartz
  • WesboiWesboi Member Posts: 403
    Time stop? Never heard of her.

    Quartz
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,869
    Time stop is neither defensive nor offensive. It only gives the caster some seconds of free reign to do what they think is useful.
    For all other creatures (friend and foe alike) it actually decreases the usefulness of the buffs they have because time does continue to flow. As such the net gain is on the side of the caster alone. You do not decrease the damage output by your party except when you have a timed speed bonus or timed damage bonus in effect.

    To me the spell protection spells are overrated. Often stoneskin or mirror image and an improved invisibility source is enough. And they take little time to recast.

    QuartzBalrog99
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,576
    All spells that are not "sleep" "death" or "breach".

    sarevok57
  • KuronaKurona Member Posts: 881
    Time Stop is useful for a solo Fighter/Mage, especially if dual-classed instead of multi-classed. Aside from that, I think it just makes a very strong impression on a first-time player. Remember your newb days, encountering Lavok or any other high-level mage and suddenly realizing you're completely helpless while they have free reign to pelt you with spells in impunity. Back then you didn't realize they could have used their rounds to do something more useful, you just thought "oh crap oh crap oh crap". I know I did :)

    I also think ADHW is overrated btw.

    Skatan
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,869
    Then again, Lavok is a solo noreload character ;)

  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410
    Kurona said:


    I also think ADHW is overrated btw.

    Your suffering will be prolonged, heretic.

    Anyways, Time Stop is more useful the fewer other party members you have, yeah. That's not to say it's not useful, though, since it gives you an advantage in action economy over your enemy when you can get three spells off without them responding, especially when that response could potentially disrupt your spellcasting. Anyways, it seems to me that a truly overrated spell is Ruby Ray of Reversal, as well as its related spell protection removers. You can get rid of spell immunity or spell trap or some sort of protection against spells with it, but only protections from spells that directly target the caster. If you're fighting a spellcaster, you shouldn't need to be using Flame Strike or Finger of Death or Dominate Person, not when Cloudkill or Horrid Wilting or Incendiary Cloud could be used instead, disrupting their spells no matter what protections they have (yes, even Protection from Energy, since immunity doesn't save you from losing your spells). Just stick to aoe's against enemy mages, and you'll kill them just fine.

    Quartz
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,094

    Anyways, Time Stop is more useful the fewer other party members you have, yeah. That's not to say it's not useful

    As with many things in general, "overrated" does not equal "secretly useless". TS is still a great spell and very powerful indeed in the right spot, but it's far from the free damage people think it is.

    Anyways, it seems to me that a truly overrated spell is Ruby Ray of Reversal, as well as its related spell protection removers.

    A great example of how things shift depending on setup. In the vanilla game, I would absolutely concur - spell protections are largely superfluous because you can just cloud your way to victory pretty much every time.
    However, once mods like SCS and/or SR enter into the picture, those spells suddenly become VERY useful, and if anything UNDERrated. Heck, I even stock up on low level stuff like Secret Word, just to get through the layers upon layers of protective spells enemies tend to stack (which, under these mods and depending on settings, actually do protect against things like area spells).

    Arctodussemiticgod
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,869
    Secret word brings down almost everything though, so if you add one that gets the top spells you are fine.

    semiticgod
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 938
    Secret word doesn't work on liches. Though once the party druid gets creeping doom, I don't bother with spell stripping anymore.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,094
    chimaera said:

    Secret word doesn't work on liches. Though once the party druid gets creeping doom, I don't bother with spell stripping anymore.

    Sadly that, too, is not a real option under SCS/SR. Talk about the reverse, as insects are perhaps still UNDERrated in vanilla but really not that good with mods...

    semiticgod
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 938


    Sadly that, too, is not a real option under SCS/SR. Talk about the reverse, as insects are perhaps still UNDERrated in vanilla but really not that good with mods...

    I was talking about SCS (or rather, SCS/Ascension). Creeping doom works just fine for me.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,650
    Kurona said:

    Time Stop is useful for a solo Fighter/Mage, especially if dual-classed instead of multi-classed. Aside from that, I think it just makes a very strong impression on a first-time player. Remember your newb days, encountering Lavok or any other high-level mage and suddenly realizing you're completely helpless while they have free reign to pelt you with spells in impunity. Back then you didn't realize they could have used their rounds to do something more useful, you just thought "oh crap oh crap oh crap". I know I did :)

    I also think ADHW is overrated btw.

    whoa, lavok uses time stop? I've never seen him do that, although to be honest the battle with him has never lasted more than one round when I battle him :)

    SirBatince
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,869
    Notice the 'almost'. I think there are only two dozen creatures that are immune to secret word. Not that awful in my book.

    semiticgod
  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited January 2017
    As much as I like SCS when playing bards or some mage/x combination the simple fact is that it (or rather, the generally played version of it) is very anti-druid, so you can't exactly hold it as the standard when discussing them.
    For some reason magical insects are apparently vulnerable to magical fire, for example, and yet people with stone skins can move around with zero penalty and (implicitly) can go about their daily routine/perform everyday tasks while holding exploding flaming meteors.
    Among other things.

    Post edited by Nuin on
    ThacoBellQuartz
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,094
    chimaera said:

    I was talking about SCS (or rather, SCS/Ascension). Creeping doom works just fine for me.

    While they do work, they are also blocked by all fire shields, i.e. something pre-buffed by almost every caster in the game. You'd have to dispel that first, and when you're already dispelling, well, might as well just know the casters out after right away instead of trying to disable them.

    The spell isn't actually USELESS by any means (I may have exaggerated a bit there) but a pale shadow compared to the ridiculous recking it is in vanilla.

    semiticgod
  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 938
    edited January 2017

    chimaera said:

    I was talking about SCS (or rather, SCS/Ascension). Creeping doom works just fine for me.

    While they do work, they are also blocked by all fire shields, i.e. something pre-buffed by almost every caster in the game. You'd have to dispel that first, and when you're already dispelling, well, might as well just know the casters out after right away instead of trying to disable them.

    The spell isn't actually USELESS by any means (I may have exaggerated a bit there) but a pale shadow compared to the ridiculous recking it is in vanilla.
    That is based on the assumption that you install the spell modifications from SCS. I use only consistent breach (and only because without this component I've had a weird bug occur), because I don't agree with them. E.g. I disagree that breach should work on liches (but, well, bug). Same with fireshield - it is not a spell that damages by proximity, like blade barier, but by retaliation, therefore I don't see why it should work differently with insects. Otherwise I'd expect that anyone standing near the caster should get burned by the fireshield too.

    Even if you think that SCS is valid only with the spell modification, creeping doom also worked well for me in Ascension. edit: actually, I don't rememeber mages in Tactics that well anymore (except for the lich teleport), have to replay it some time :)

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,094
    chimaera said:

    That is based on the assumption that you install the spell modifications from SCS

    EVERYTHING in based on the assumption that the game is set up a certain way, and not another. Obviously if you don't change how the spells work, then it's no different from vanilla - I thought that goes without saying.

    And yes there are instances in which the spells are effective, but again: 'overrated' != 'actually useless', and 'underrated' != 'the best thing since sliced gnome'.

  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 938
    edited January 2017


    EVERYTHING in based on the assumption that the game is set up a certain way, and not another. Obviously if you don't change how the spells work, then it's no different from vanilla - I thought that goes without saying.

    And yes there are instances in which the spells are effective, but again: 'overrated' != 'actually useless', and 'underrated' != 'the best thing since sliced gnome'.

    The problem is that we aren't exactly discussing the same spells, then. It's easy to say insects spell are overrated, but that's because the SCS spell component (and SR, I presume) makes them less useful. (and frankly, for the sake of being cheap, because mages could just use SI: conjuration instead)

    Of course if you modify the spell to be weaker it becomes less useful, but at this point I'd disagree that people who find them useful are "overrating" them. Because it is the same issue as with ADHW in SR, which, from what I recall, doesn't work on undead anymore. If you change how a spell works - then we are discussing two different spells.

    ThacoBellsemiticgod
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,094
    chimaera said:

    The problem is that we aren't exactly discussing the same spells, then.

    Evidently not. The topic *was* SCS though, so I sort of considered it a given to be discussing the spell in that context. Why anyone would think we're talking about SCS but without any SCS-related changes to the spell is beyond me, but it could just be me making all those assumptions again.

    Let's just drop this discussion, because it leads nowhere.

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,396
    edited February 2017
    Well, if fireballs/cone of colds are not solving the problem, chances are you are not using enough of them! Triple fire balls or better, skulltraps in a sequencer or triple cone of colds in a trigger will surely put the hurt on any target that is not immune to magic or the corresponding elemental damage. At level 20, triple cone of cold trigger will deal (20d4+20) x3 damage in an instant. That is 120-300 cold damage. Even if all saves are made, that is 60-150 damage, a respectable avarage damage of 105. If one or more saves are blown the damage increases quite a bit, too!

    Ofcourse, when you are facing a high lvl mage, breach is your most important spell. But when facing tough brute enemies that are not overly magic resistant, damaging spells can still help a lot. Even ice storm can do quite damage if you stack a few of them on top of each other. 4 ice storms going equals 8-64 damage each round, no save.

    I don't even need to defend ADHW, it speaks for itself. Even magic resistant foes like drows will feel the hurt every now and then, if you cast it on a group, one or two members will take the hit, and since they generally have low hps 1-2 hits are enough to take them out.

    For these purposes, sorcerers are better adapted. A mage can not prepare a lot of cone of colds or sunfires cos he needs his breaches/spellshields too. But a sorc can have the cone and breach at the same time and decide which is needed more on the fly. I seem to have a newly grown love for sorcerers, so my opinion may be a bit biased.

    Ardul
  • lordkimlordkim Member Posts: 1,063
    edited February 2017
    There is way to much magic/spells in both games..... Sorry to say that....

    lolienStummvonBordwehr
  • Raven999Raven999 Member Posts: 20
    lroumen said:

    Secret word brings down almost everything though, so if you add one that gets the top spells you are fine.

    You're right, Secret Word does bring down MANY spell protections and it comes really cheap, being a level 4 spell and all. I usually make it a point to memorise is at least once.
    The only thing that makes Secret Word vastly inferior to say, Ruby Ray of Reversal though, is the fact that it's useless again Globe of Invulnerability and more importantly, against Spell Trap (which almost every high level/TOB mage protects him/herself with).

    That being said, Ruby Ray of Reversal is painfully expensive IMO (being a level 7 spell).
    There are just too many seriously nasty spells at that level (Project Image :D).


    semiticgod
  • Raven999Raven999 Member Posts: 20
    On another note, I can hardly believe some of the posts on this thread and all this BS about Time Stop being overrated.

    If reducing Time Stop to an area stun spell is the best you can do, then you clearly haven't been paying attention to the very many benefits of having three full rounds at your disposal.
    Overpowered? Yes. Overrated? Hardly.

    Why worry about your little party buffs wearing out, when you can single-handedly wipe the floor of almost any battlefield with your mage(s)?


    If you're able to cast Time Stop, then you already have access to a huge amount of other nasty spells like Contingencies, Triggers, Simulacra and Images.

    If you memorize Time Stop several times or have more than one mage/sorcerer in your party, you can time your Time Stops one after the other so that the battle will be over even before the enemy manages to land a single hit on your team.

    Also keep in mind that Chain Contingencies, Spell Triggers and Spell Sequencers can be set during Time Stops. If you know what you're doing, those spells will be the deciding factor of any battle.

    Have two mages cast Project Image and have those Images cast Time Stops and set up Triggers, Chain Contingencies and create Simulacra during those two synchronized Stops.
    Or even better, get them to launch a Greater Malison followed by a few Wailing Banshees and Abi'Dalzim's Horrid Wilitings and tell me that Time Stop isn't A BIG DEAL.

    If you really wanna have fun, try and combination of Time Stop + Improved Alacrity and enjoy the fireworks.


    If you're in trouble during a battle, use Time Stop to cast a Wish spell and get all your team healed/restored + spells re-memorized. You'll still have time to cast two other spells after that and launch a ranged attack in between the castings.

    If you're playing a cleric/mage, use your Time Stop to spam group/solo healing while the battlefield is frozen.

    If you're playing a thief/mage or fighter/thief/mage, Mislead and Haste yourself, cast Time Stop and go slash your foes to bits with non-stop backstabs, then watch all the corpses collapse to the ground at the end of the Time Stop.

    AC and To Hit dice don't count during a Time Stop. EVERY hit is a success.


    Need I go on?


    semiticgodQuartz
  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 447
    edited February 2017
    They're basically arguing that Timestop only slows you down when a direct approach is available (as in most cases - remember that BG2 is a wonderful old game that has been replayed so many times that some players can tell you which spells a particular spellcaster is going to use and in what order, or the specific damage type/THAC0/AC/resistances of a particular enemy).
    Instead of using Timestop to spam triggers, contingencies, images, etc. as you suggested, for example, why not just use disabling spells/anti-protection spells/summons/item abilities/etc. to strip enemies of their protections/undermine their defenses/keep them busy or hold their attention while your other party mates destroy them? It helps if you pre-buff, so enemy mages themselves have to work on removing YOUR protections first before they can do anything, too.

    You can then argue that Timestop only really becomes indispensable if you are forced to fight fully prepared enemies with zero protections of your own, to buy you time to prepare your defenses.

    Quartz
  • Raven999Raven999 Member Posts: 20
    Nuin said:

    They're basically arguing that Timestop only slows you down when a direct approach is available (as in most cases - remember that BG2 is a wonderful old game that has been replayed so many times that some players can tell you which spells a particular spellcaster is going to use and in what order, or the specific damage type/THAC0/AC/resistances of a particular enemy, etc).
    Instead of using Timestop to spam triggers, contingencies, images, etc. as you suggested, for example, why not just use disabling spells/anti-protection spells/summons/item abilities/etc. to strip enemies of their protections/undermine their defenses/keep them busy or hold their attention while your other party mates destroy them? It helps if you pre-buff, so enemy mages themselves have to work on removing YOUR protections first before they can do anything, too.

    Timestop only really becomes indispensable if you are forced to fight fully prepared enemies with zero protections of your own, to buy you time to prepare your defenses.


    Agreed.
    There aren't THAT many occasions that warrant the use of Time Stops.

    Unfortunately, I am one of those players you've described (the ones that pretty much know what each enemy spellcaster is going to do and where all the enemies are). Mods have greatly helped with that, rendering things considerably more complex and unpredictable.
    In the vanilla game, liches and enemy mages always made such poor use of their Time Stops, IMO.


    That being said, the practicality of the spell doesn't seem to be at trial here. The only reason I decided to step in it's defence is that it was being portrayed as a "negative", when in fact it can be a real life saver in solo games or smaller, less fighter-heavy parties.


    Removing spell protections is always a must, but doing so within the safety of a Time Stop is even better, since the effects actually come into effect during the Stop itself, unlike most spell effects.

    My appreciation for Time Stop grew considerably when I started using smaller parties on modded, Insane/hard games. But even in the vanilla EE and non-EE versions, the spell came in handy on more than one occasion.


    It is true that Time Stop is not always warranted, but that's no reason to belittle it's effects or blurt out that it's "cons" outweigh it's pros.


  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,094
    See, this is exactly what I mean. The thing about TS is doing things SAFELY - it's not extra damage unless you losing all but 1 members of your party is offset by you getting to dish out damage during TS you otherwise would not be able to. That is not actually a scenario all that common, at least with reasonable party size and at least some appreciation of strategy that protects your caster. For many setups, TS is actually quite the damage LOSS, because using all those super sick weapons in late SoA/ToB is actually quite the substantial throughput. Disabling all of those for several rounds is often detrimental to the damage you could do - unless, of course, you are worried about what is coming AT you as well. Hence my argument that it's a defensive move first and foremost.

    Of course, as always, this is true for a generic setup of actual party usage etc. etc. If you're flying solo, TS is often quite the substantial gain (for obvious reasons).

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