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Aerie or Neera?

LabyrinthodontLabyrinthodont Member Posts: 16
I'm still playing BG EE, but I plan my parties well in advance. I'm a bit split on whether or not one of my arcane caster slots should be Neera or Aerie in SoA. Who would be more useful? So far, I know for a fact that I will have a barbarian MC, Minsc, Imoen, and 2 other NPC's in my party, if that helps.

Also, how do the romances stack up? I've only tried Viconia and Jaheira.
Post edited by Labyrinthodont on
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Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,324
    Aerie is the single most versatile caster in the series. She is awesome. Note that she will only get along with very good parties. As for her romance, she starts off very emotionally vulnerable, so expect a lot of looking for approval/mood swings for the first part of the romance.
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639
    I usually neglect Aerie, but I just took her along with Haer'Dalis, (another NPC I usually skip), just to watch their romance. And it reminded me why I usually neglect her in the first place. I find her romance to be by far the worst of the original three, (I get that the writers were trying to make her fragile, but all that really comes off is a desperate need for approval and constant affirmation. Not a lot of depth of character, especially in comparison to the phenomenal Jahiera romance.) Actually, the romance between her and Haer'Dalis is a thousand times better than the one between her and Charname, in my opinion.

    The multiclass definitely makes her much more versatile and lets you assemble some fantastic sequencers, (Doom + Silence, Silence + Web, double Silence, Malison + Doom + any SoE spell, 3x Holy Smite for an ADHW-lite, 3x Animate Dead, 2x Animate Dead + Haste... it's really the best part of the multi). And Chain Contingency, once you *finally* get there, (warning: Six Million Experience Points!), is ridiculous. I haven't really even played with how many ways there are to break that one.

    But I find the delay to get to the next level of mage spells compared to a single-class mage to be kind of unbearable, and the multi means she can't explode undead reliably at any point in the saga, which is the most fun part of clerics IMO.

    Just a personal preference, but I'd rather keep my arcane and divine casters single-classed or dual-classed to speed up the progression. But if you're running a 4-person party, the leveling is a little bit faster, and it'd be handy to have some sort of divine caster to give you access to Chaotic Commands and Death Ward, which would tend to make Aerie more optimal. I still might take Neera, anyway. I just don't like Aerie.
    Thrasymachus
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,324
    The Aerie romance certainly starts that way, she does not stay fragile.
  • brunardobrunardo Member Posts: 370
    Neera is way better....and even aerie and haer seem like it was meant to be
    CrevsDaak
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,271
    Neera has some very interesting quests. She is also the more interesting (read:quirky) npc to have around than Aerie. However, utility wise Aerie is superiour and since you already have Imoen as a pure mage, Aerie as a c/m can be more complementary to your party.
    CrevsDaak
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,324
    Note that Nalia is a suspicious substitute for Imoen. So if you are going to have Immy in your party she may be redundant. They are both great characters, so you cant really go wrong.
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 503
    Aerie can be obtained earlier and quicker. I find her to be the best spellcaster in the game. Not the best cleric; not the best mage; but the best, most versatile spellslinger going.
    ThacoBell
  • NightingaleNightingale Member Posts: 59
    I'd go with Aerie. As others have said, she is by far the most versatile caster in the series, and I wind up taking her with me most of the time as a result. Having access to Cleric Spells, Mage spells, and the ability to Turn Undead make her an asset for the entire game. Maybe not a better cleric or mage than her pure classed counterparts, but the ability to sling both easily makes up for that.

    As for her personality and romance, I think both romances are well done (Neera's even takes note of your character class, giving some interesting replay value). You'll likely find a lot of Aerie haters, as she is rather wounded and fragile when you first meet her. Expect vulnerability, "whining" (she did go through a traumatic event, so I don't consider her behavior whiny. Now Skie... THAT'S whiny), and a constant need for approval during the early stages of her romance. She eventually comes into her own however, and becomes a very enjoyable character. Also, if you don't want to romance her, I highly recommend her romance with Haer'Dalis. You get to see an independent side to her there that you don't see normally.

    Neera is also pretty good. A bit more of a focus on comedy, but there's also more realism mixed in. She's more independent than Aerie right out the gate and it shows. But she's also chaotic and afraid of hurting people she cares about, which influences her actions and love talks in a way.

    tl;dr- Both romances are worth checking out. If it comes down to which one is more valuable in combat, I'd go Aerie.
    ThacoBell
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639
    ThacoBell said:

    The Aerie romance certainly starts that way, she does not stay fragile.

    Yes, though of course there are other problems with the latter stages of Aerie's romance that to me are even more of a dealbreaker. In SoA, I find both the Viconia and Aerie romances to be little more than shallow tropefests, but Viconia is at least independent rather than "needy", and you can banter with her a bit. And while you can see Viconia's "redeem" arc coming a mile away in ToB, at least it doesn't defy all sense and logic, not to mention the laws of nature, time, space, and physics, like Aerie's big "twist".

    I mean, if I have her in my party and I don't have Jahiera / Viconia, I'll still romance her most of the time because hey, it's extra content. But again, far and away the weakest of the three original choices, and I'd say even worse than Anomen, (although that's more of a tossup and a lot of my complaints apply there, too). Which is a real shame, especially given the direct contrast with how well the writers developed her relationship with Haer'Dalis.

    Jahiera's romance is above reproach, though, (other than potential complaints about her being romanceable at all so recently after being widowed. I never had a problem with this given that: she showed plenty of ambivalence through the entire course of the romance; you're spending every waking moment in each other's company for months on end, repeatedly saving each others' lives; and you're literally the son of a god, so "normal" isn't really all that applicable, here).
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,324
    ThacoBell said:

    Note that Nalia is a suspicious substitute for Imoen. So if you are going to have Immy in your party she may be redundant. They are both great characters, so you cant really go wrong.

    Oh, NEERA. I have no idea why I read that as "Nalia" derp
    CrevsDaakGreenWarlockNightingale
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639
    tbone1 said:

    Aerie can be obtained earlier and quicker. I find her to be the best spellcaster in the game. Not the best cleric; not the best mage; but the best, most versatile spellslinger going.

    I mean, if we measure versatility by the sheer number of spells in her spellbook, then there's really no argument, especially if you're using Potions of Genius to let her fill up her mage book. Though, of course, she's limited by the fact that doubling the size of your spell book only goes so far when you can still only cast one per round.

    But if we're doing a level-for-level comparison... at 3m experience, Aerie has 5/5/5/4/4/2/1 mage spells and 8/8/6/5/3/2/1 priest spells, having just earned her first level 7 slot in both books. Edwin, meanwhile, has 8/8/8/8/8/6/6/5/4 mage spells, having just earned his level 9 spells. That's an extra 3/3/3/4/4/4/5/5/4 mage spells, which adds a *LOT* of versatility; I'd argue more than Aerie's cleric spellbook brings to the table, sequencers notwithstanding. Especially since Aerie probably isn't taking advantage of those top-notch Cleric self-buffs that make Anomen such a boss.

    Edwin's a better damage dealer, and there's really no debating that point. (Chain Contingency: Enemy Sighted > 3x ADHW.) He's also a much better summoner; he's had his Skeleton Warriors for over a million experience by now, but Aerie still hasn't gotten hers. Edwin has potentially 5 more Mordenk's or Project Images, he's able to cast his own Simulacrums, and he could potentially have a Planetar, which trumps Aerie's Deva.

    Edwin is a much better disabler. He's got Power Word: Blind, Bigby's Clenched Fist, and the best disabling spell in the game: Time Stop, (which is basically just a 3-round global stun). Plus he has the spell slots to spam Slow and Chaos until the cows come home.

    Edwin blows Aerie out of the water at Wizard Chess. He dispels at a higher level, already has RRR/Khelban's/Spell Strike, reduces more MR with each casting of Lower Resistance / Pierce Magic / Pierce Shield, and can use Spell Trigger to stuff several of those in at one go.

    As a party buffer, Aerie brings Bless, Chant, Prot Evil 10', and Defensive Harmony, which are solid spells. But Edwin has up to four extra castings of Improved Haste. I know which my parties would prefer.

    And Edwin has the ultimate versatility trump card in Chain Contingency, which lets him drop whatever he wants wherever he wants whenever he wants.

    The biggest advantages Aerie has over Edwin at this stage, in my opinion, are healing, Chaotic Commands, Death Ward, True Sight, and those fantastic, fantastic sequencers of hers. (Mitigated, of course, by the fact that Edwin has Spell Trigger and Aerie doesn't get it until 4.5m XP.)

    But the game stuffs you so full of healing potions that heal spells are mostly a matter of convenience, Chaotic Commands can be replicated by the Shield of Harmony and Potions of Clarity, True Sight will almost certainly be available on another party member, (plus the gem of true seeing from Rasaad's quest and potentially the Book of Infinite Spells), and Death Ward is kind of a niche effect. Yes, bringing Aerie means not needing those items, which is versatile. But does this outweigh Edwin's crushing advantages in the areas of damaging, summoning, debuffing, (arguably) party buffing, mage battles, etc? To me, it's really not even close who is more versatile.

    And yes, Aerie will get those level 8 and level 9 mage slots eventually. But in this case, "eventually" means at 4.5m and 6m experience. I just ran a relative completionist playthrough with her, (all freely available quests, but not recruiting NPCs just to get their personal quests, too), using a 4-man party (me, Jahiera, Haer'Dalis, and Aerie, plus I added a 5th in ToB). I didn't get her level 9 spells until I was already halfway through ToB, including all of Watcher's Keep. And even when she gets them, there will never be a point where Edwin doesn't have at least 5 more level-9 spell slots.

    If you don't like comparing to Edwin, who is ludicrous and broken, Neera gets two fewer spells per level, but she also gets her mage spell levels substantially faster than Aerie, and Neera brings the single most versatile spell in the game in Nahal's Reckless Dweomer. (Note: I said versatile, not reliable.) And Imoen/Nalia lose another spell, too, but can disarm traps, perhaps the only thing that Aerie can't do.

    Aerie has a few unique tricks up her sleeve, (I really cannot say enough good things about her sequencers and contingencies), and it's a fun multiclass, but in my opinion she is nowhere near the most powerful caster, nor even the most versatile.
    CrevsDaaktbone1islandking
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 503
    edited March 10
    @SomeSort I still say Aerie has Edwin narrowly beat on versatility. She has no restrictions on which spells she can learn, unlike Edwin. Those spells might be of limited used, but the are of some use. If you use lots of potions for healing, that frees up her cleric spells for things like animate dead, hold person, etc, which can also free up her mage spell slots for other spells as well. And I still stand by my statement that cleric spells, particularly non-healing spells of levels 4-7, are underappreciated.

    Also, and it's a small thing, Aerie can wear a helmet and a buckler and [certain types of hard-to-obtain] armor, which means that Aerie buffed by her cleric and mage spells and wielding [a particular flail or a particular hammer or a particular mace] can give you a wicked secondary tank for certain battles that can make tough foes nearly a breeze. That gives her some spell strategies that I don't think you can say of Edwin. Certainly not to the degree of Aerie.

    Edwin is flipping good, easily the best mage, even better than CHARNAME can be, partly due to his amulet. I don't think anyone can deny that. And at 3m XP, Edwin is right in that power band of spellslinging per XP, where Aerie probably hit hers earlier. But if you take the Gaussian of versatility from start to finish, I think that Aerie is more versatile, though it is quite close. It may come down to personal taste and strategy preferences.
    SomeSortThacoBellNightingale
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639
    It's true that Aerie gets much better gear choices than Edwin. In fact, unless I make Crom Faeyr, I almost always give her the Gauntlets of Ogre Power since mages don't really have any great glove options. (It's basically that or the Bracers AC3 for a 2-point boost over Robe of Vecna / of the Good Archmagi.) This boosts her strength enough that she can equip better shields. Shield of Harmony is usually my go-to to ensure that my confusion-dispeller never gets confused herself. There's also another very big and very obvious upgrade that makes battles against beholders much more palatable. The aforementioned Mace/Hammer are nice for the Negative Plane Protection. She even makes a half-decent slinger with the strength boost.

    I wouldn't say she makes a better secondary tank than Edwin, though. Arcane casters are the best tanks in the game, at least until the stoneskins, mirror images, and PfMWs run out... which for Edwin takes three times as long. Again, another key part of Edwin's versatility.

    As for total spell volume... at 3m XP, Aerie gets 59 total casts per rest period. Edwin gets 61. The bulk of the edge comes in level 7/8/9 spells, which are orders of magnitude better than their low-level peers, (to use by far the most egregious example, thanks to Project Image, one 7th-level spell slot is literally equivalent to 8 level one slots *and* 8 level two slots *and* 8 level three slots *and* 8 level four slots and so on down the line). If both Aerie and Edwin line up and chuck spells until they run dry, Edwin's going to be chucking a lot longer.

    Aerie's strength lies in her variety, but again, the problem is that variety doesn't matter as much when you are limited to one spell per round, (unless you already have Chain Contingency or Improved Alacrity). And a lot of that variety is really redundancy.

    Take Sanctuary, for instance. I'll sing the praises of Sanctuary until the cows come home. I think that one spell all by itself singlehandedly makes the Cleric/Thief the best "adventuring" thief in the game, (e.g. scouting, picking locks, disarming traps, looting chests, picking pockets, etc.) But while it offers a lot of subtle advantages over Invisibility, (most of which Aerie can't take advantage of owing to her lack of thief levels), it's not a categorically different spell.

    Being able to cast both Sanctuary *and* Invisibility doesn't really make Aerie more versatile, since the two skills are largely redundant. Unless you're a Cleric/Thief, any time you'd want Sanctuary, Invisibility will probably serve you just fine, anyway. (The reverse is not true: Invisibility's long duration and ability to cast on others makes it suitable for applications where Sanctuary just wouldn't work.)

    Looking quickly at the divine spellbook, I'd say the only spells that add "versatility" to a pure mage are:
    Almost all levels: Cure spells, Restoration spells, etc.
    Lvl1 - Armor of Faith, (though Aerie makes an odd DR% Tank)
    Lvl2 - DUHM, (not as useful without some fighter levels, too)
    Lvl3 - Strength of One, Zone of Sweet Air (Mostly a convenience spell)
    Lvl4 - Death Ward, Defensive Harmony, NPP, Free Action (I so wish my mages could get this one!)
    Lvl5 - Chaotic Commands
    Lvl6 - Blade Barrier (for cheesy invisibility tactics)
    Lvl7 - Globe of Blades (same)

    It's *nice* to have Resist Fear at level 1, or the long-duration Prot Evil 10', but if a pure mage really needs to do those things, he can. They're conveniences more than true upgrades. Mages don't have Silence 15', but spells like Glitterdust can accomplish a similar function. Holy Smite is a tremendous spell, but Protection From Fire + Fireball does the same thing regardless of alignment.

    There are other really good priest spells that can do things a little bit easier than their mage counterpart could, but they're not fundamentally expanding the things that a mage is capable of.

    There's a lot of interesting spells in that list, and having it opens up some interesting combos and tactics. But it's nothing like having an entire extra level or two of mage spells open to you with Edwin, (or, more relevant to this thread, Neera).

    I would likewise be down to continue this conversation over a slice and some libations. :)
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 928
    I happen to be running a game with Aerie and Edwin at the moment.

    Aerie I used a lot more earlier, but now we've hit the ridiculous OP levels, I use her mage spells less and less. Edwin has just so many high level spells available.

    I admit I'm playing a silly OP game, some quest/extra content mods that have laden me down with interesting items and more XP and money than I know what to do with.
    But with the SoftheM, full wands, all sorts of items and summons, nobody is doing that much other than Edwin. Viconia can pump out SW until the cows come home and a couple of them, a dark planeter and a repeatedly invisible "herder" (just to keep an eye on what they are doing and to direct them), not much to do for anyone else.

    Later on in TOB, I daresay things will change up a bit.
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 416
    Aerie- Unique magic combos (chromatic doom is a fun one), better equipment, more versatile, won't blow up your party

    Neera- lots and lots of firepower, might blow up your party

    depends on your preferences
    ThacoBellCrevsDaak
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 256
    From a no-reload perspective, Aerie's considerably more useful than Neera, even discounting Wild Surges. Remove Paralysis is ridiculously powerful in a game without Stun immunity, and Aerie's really the only Cleric that's likely to be in the backlines: Anomen and Viconia are known for being frontliners, generally.

    There's also niche cases like being able to cast Raise Dead, Silence 15", Holy Smite (there's no party-friendly AoE for mages until what, level 8 spells with ADHW? And it can blind, and can be fit in a sequencer.), and Turn Undead.

    That being said, SoA can easily be done with either Aerie or Neera, though if you pick Neera I'd advise for one of your remaining spots to go to a Cleric or Druid.
    CrevsDaakSomeSortLabyrinthodont
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 503
    @SomeSort you might be convincing me. I haven't brought Edwin along in a while, maybe I need to reconsider that on my next non-Paladin run.

    And for a pint and a slice, there is a great pizza place here that serves lcoal microbrews that are so good that it serves as a reminder that this town is mostly German.
    SomeSort
  • CloutierCloutier Member Posts: 188
    In my latest playthrough, I tolerated Aerie for the first time ever. Just when I started to like her, in the Spellhold Maze, charname turned into The Slayer and uncontrollably chunked her.
    ElysianEchoes
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639
    Neverused said:

    From a no-reload perspective, Aerie's considerably more useful than Neera, even discounting Wild Surges. Remove Paralysis is ridiculously powerful in a game without Stun immunity, and Aerie's really the only Cleric that's likely to be in the backlines: Anomen and Viconia are known for being frontliners, generally.

    There's also niche cases like being able to cast Raise Dead, Silence 15", Holy Smite (there's no party-friendly AoE for mages until what, level 8 spells with ADHW? And it can blind, and can be fit in a sequencer.), and Turn Undead.

    That being said, SoA can easily be done with either Aerie or Neera, though if you pick Neera I'd advise for one of your remaining spots to go to a Cleric or Druid.

    Good call on Remove Paralysis, and for sure Wild Mages are the worst possible choice for a no-reload run.

    Silence 15' is such a great spell, and totally breaks BG1, (and continues to break battles against enemy clerics in BG2). But for the most part whatever you want to do with Silence can also be done with Glitterdust. I still keep a couple of copies handy for breaking scripted battles that start with a conversation, (hello, Tarnor the Hatchetman), and because Clerics get a bazillion level 2 spell slots.

    Holy Smite is only partially party-friendly, (no Korgan, Viconia, Dorn, Edwin, or Hexxat, although if you're running with Aerie you shouldn't be bringing Korgan anyway, Viconia has plenty of magic resistance, and Edwin should be well clear of the blast radius). But mages absolutely do have a party-friendly option: Fireball + Stacked Fire Resistances. Protection from Fire used to erroneously give 100% Fire Resistance; I haven't tested it in EE, so I don't know if this is still the case.

    Even if not, there are so many sources of fire resistance (Aegar's Hide, Red Dragon Scale, Corthala Family Armor, De'Arnise Signet Ring, Ring of Fire Resistance, Ring of Fire Control, Dragon Helm, 2x Helm of Defense, Helm of Brilliance, Helm of the Rock, Cloak of Mirroring, Dragon Scale Shield, Delryn Family Shield, Potions of Fire Resistance, Scrolls of Fire Resistance, etc.), that it's trivially easy to get 100% resist on one or two front-liners. And if you go beyond that, Fireball serves double purpose, healing your guys at the same time as it hurts your enemies.

    Turn Undead is the most fun thing about clerics, in my opinion, but Aerie's multi-class ruins it for her. The stuff she can chunk will be too low of a level to care about, (shadows, skeletons, ghasts and the like). The stuff that you're really concerned about, (named vampires and liches, e.g.), she won't be able to touch. The rest of it gets you the useful-but-annoying "fear" effect, which will boost your survivability and also your frustration levels as you chase them all over the map.
  • ifupaulineifupauline Member Posts: 393
    edited March 12
    "more useful"

    Aerie no contest, there is no way a single mage can be more useful to a party than a mage/cleric (divine + arcane + vecna) on top of that you will already have imoen and its a lot of more fun to play.

    edit : actually im re reading your post, you want an arcane caster being useful at casting arcane spell? in this case Neera is a better choice indeed.
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,067
    It is a tough call, as they both bring different things to the game. Neera is a not-entirely stable spell caster with a bonus spell/level, and no opposed school. Great on offense, nerve-wracking on defense. Aerie is the most versatile NPC caster in the game, but will spend most of the game significantly behind the power curve, so you better make that flexibility work for you.

    As you are planning Imoen to be you long term fast(er) leveling caster, I would probably opt for Aerie. I might also consider taking both, and allowing Imoen to safely leave the adventuring life behind - although then you would be on the lookout for a trustworthy thief...
    Labyrinthodont
  • rrchristensenrrchristensen Member Posts: 259
    edited March 19
    If you fancy Aerie's powers but can't stand her personality, there is a Quayle mod for BG2 by @LavaDelVortel . Same classes as Aerie (except he's an illusionist/cleric, so more spell slots but no necromancy spells), okayish stats, a different personality and alignment, and some alternative quests and items. Perhaps this might be a useful third option for some?
    CrevsDaak
  • unholy_avengerunholy_avenger Member Posts: 29
    Aerie is a lot more powerful and more useful. Nalia is an inferior version of Imoen mechanically.
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639

    Aerie is a lot more powerful and more useful. Nalia is an inferior version of Imoen mechanically.

    The OP was asking about Neera, not Nalia. Wild Mages are the 3rd-most-brokenly-OP characters in BG2/ToB, after Sorcerers and Edwin, (as long as you're not adverse to reloading in the face of critical failures).

    Speaking of Nalia, though, I'd go so far as to call her a better Imoen. She has better stats, for one. 9 wisdom vs. 11 wisdom won't make any practical difference since neither is high enough for Wishing without potions. 16 charisma vs. 13 charisma won't make any difference, practical or otherwise, since you get a Ring of Human Influence as soon as you leave Chateau Irenicus. (Even without it, the only difference is 16 Cha nets you a 5% shop discount, which you wouldn't be able to take advantage of when you needed it the most in chapters 2 and 3, anyway.) That +5 strength (14 vs. 9), however, is a major quality-of-life improvement. It gives Nalia 120 pounds of carrying capacity instead of a pathetic 50 pounds, a substantial chunk of which will be spent on equipment, (Robes + Staff + bow gets you to ten pounds, plus each potion you carry adds another pound to that).

    Imoen's thieving skills are superior, but not appreciably so. 95 Find Traps vs. 80 Find Traps will only matter on a small percentage of traps, and both would need a Ring of Danger Sense or a potion to get up to 100. Imoen's 100 open locks is a huge improvement over Nalia's 60, but nothing that Knock can't solve, and if you really want the experience, Thieving potions are pretty common. (Open Locks is better to gimp than Find Traps, because you'll always know when your score is too low and a potion is required, whereas with traps you won't find out until it's too late.)

    Imoen eventually gets her bonus powers, but they're exceedingly minor. +1 strength bumps her up to 70 pounds of carrying capacity. +1 dex gives her a +1 THACO bonus with shortbows, which is nice. Draw Upon the Holy Might isn't enough to make her strength score relevant and won't increase her constitution bonus to HP, so it's basically just another short-term +2 ranged THACO bonus. Cure Medium Wounds is dwarfed by the time you get it. Against this, Nalia gets her Signet ring, which is a Ring of Protection +2 that also grants +50% fire resistance and stacks with other protection items, which makes it probably the second-best ring in the game.

    Technically, with three more levels of Thief, Imoen could have +6 max HP if both characters were the same level and both got perfect rolls. But the huge fly in the ointment is that whole "if both characters were the same level" thing. Because that's really Imoen's biggest disadvantage; she's going to spend the entire game 2+ levels behind Nalia in the class where levels are the single biggest determinant of character power. I know you said "mechanically", which I assume means "assuming the two were the same level", but that assumption doesn't reflect how the two will compare during real playthroughs. It's not that Nalia will be an Imoen with slightly worse thief skills, it's that Imoen will be a Nalia with noticeably less spellcasting power.
    SkatanLughChulainn
  • moparmanmoparman Member Posts: 27
    Aerie is lacking in stats big time but certain magic items can fix most of that. I just go into EEkeeper and tweak her. I haven't used her in a very long time but I'm running with her now. I can do a two person party with her and my fighter/mage/thief and bring on others temporarily along the way. Tweaked she's a monster character.
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 232
    Tweaked, ANY character is a monster character. It's just how much tweaking you do.
    ThacoBellSkatantbone1LughChulainn
  • unholy_avengerunholy_avenger Member Posts: 29
    @SomeSort

    Imoen's thief skills are enough to handle basically every lock and trap even in ToB, can't say the same for Nalia. Strength is irrelevant for mages, especially at that point in the game, and the game throws more than enough XP at you to compensate for Imoen's Spellhold trip.

    Neera sucks all-around though.
  • moparmanmoparman Member Posts: 27

    Tweaked, ANY character is a monster character. It's just how much tweaking you do.

    I try not to take it too far. :)
    Skatan
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639

    @SomeSort

    Imoen's thief skills are enough to handle basically every lock and trap even in ToB, can't say the same for Nalia. Strength is irrelevant for mages, especially at that point in the game, and the game throws more than enough XP at you to compensate for Imoen's Spellhold trip.

    Neera sucks all-around though.

    Nalia's find traps is over 100 if you give her the Ring of Danger Sense. 100 lockpicking is less important because of potions; you can try a lock a couple times, and if you fail, just pop a potion or cast knock.

    Honestly, I'll typically just put a divine caster in front of my party and walk through dangerous zones with Find Traps cast for a 100% detection rate. It's not like I'm doing anything else with those level 2 divine spell slot on Jahiera. Then Nalia can pop on the ring if necessary and disarm. It's much less of a hassle in BG2EE since you don't have to rememorize spells if you lose spell slots, (since I usually have her ring slot devoted to a Ring of Wizardry).

    The "problem" with Imoen is that the experience gap between her and Nalia will never get any smaller. Depending on how much of a completionist you are, it might be anywhere between 375k and 750k, which is a perpetual 1-2 level defecit. At the larger end of that range, it means until she hits 3m experience, Imoen will always be one spell level behind Nalia. Nalia will have level 7s when you recruit Imoen with level 6s, Nalia will get her 8s when Imoen gets her 7s, and Nalia will get her 9s while Imoen is just unlocking her 8s.

    Even once Imoen hits level 18 (unlocking level 9 spells and HLAs), Nalia will have one more level 9 spell slot at all times until Imoen hits level 22 (4.5m experience). And for me, I'd rather have an extra level 9 spell slot than an extra 55 thief skill points.

    I mean, at the end of the day, they're both pure-class mages with access to thief equipment, which makes them both among the top 5 most powerful NPCs in the game. Both are worthy additions to any party, and it's not like you even have to pick between them; parties can rarely have too many mages in late SoA and ToB.
    Skatanthespace
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