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Underrated Kits + Stuff people not use or try.

So , how many of you guys play what your heart wants and not what is considered OP or popular?
I'm speaking about ''Insane'' difficulty and also , do you take or at least give a try to every companion and form different party setups?
OrlonKronsteen

Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,324
    Shapeshifter is one of the most underrated classes out there. Bard gets a surprising amount if dismissal as well.
    OrlonKronsteenCrevsDaakAerakar
  • Artemius_IArtemius_I Member Posts: 1,735
    These ones are pretty great:
    • Enchanter
    • Transmuter
    • Post-nerf Assassin
    • Jester
    • Dragon Disciple
    • Shapeshifter
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 3,717
    Fighters specialized in Clubs, Transmuters and non-multiclassed Gnome Warriors come to mind. Also the Druid stronghold. More importantly... did I mentioned Clubs? No? Good, because they are the most underrated weapon catagory.
    CrevsDaak
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 99
    I like to solo and i must admit it is extremely frustrating without a thief for traps and/or a mage for doors. Some of the more exotic classes are locked out of many multi/dual class options and whilst it is possible to circumvent many of the restrictions it can be very tedious. I am also a serial completionist and have XP cap removed, even w/o importing from BG1 and/or SoD a solo character ends up with massively over capped experience. Current playthrough is just entering Suldanessar and has 18.5m XP, luckily she's a FMT so i'm still progressing, but it gets boring once hitting the hard cap for level/s haha.

    I have tried most of the classes and kits, but many i got bored with and didn't finish the game. I may well try a custom party with 2 or 3 pre-made characters so that i can play some of the more exotic classes without overcapping their XP too early or forcing a particular way of playing the entire game due to specific cheesing requirements to overcome class flaws o:)

    Interesting combos would be:

    Wizard Slayer late dual class to Thief (just so annoying w/o potions and most jewelry/utility items not allowed) - Tried this solo, ended up with massive XP overcap and only way to even try was to dual at level 39 lmao, which means thief forever before suddenly being borderline omnipotent :p

    Dark Moon Monk, mainly to see what Rasaad says differently, if anything haha. Tried before, but class is weak until 20+ level, but Monks level so damn fast that XP overcap is a massive issue and resulted in boredom and shelving, needs the group to slow it down and cover up the early squishiness.

    Various Paladin Kits, all strong and fun, but again XP over cap solo, as a rule i prefer evil parties but exceptions can be made.

    Druid Kits, i tried Shapeshifter but GWW form was obscene early on before being useless for a lot of later fights and very 1 dimensional, would be nice to pair up with a couple of other characters so it could be played much more as a support caster rather than a tank. Other druid kits look interesting too.

    As a rule i do not play divine casters very much, they always feel somewhat lacking compared to Wizardy types, but i think a 2 character Multi or dual class group deliberately avoiding a Mage class would be challenging and force me to think outside the box a lot more. A 3 character single class group w/o a wizard would also be a nice challenge using.
    VitharOrlonKronsteen
  • VitharVithar Member Posts: 64
    Thanks for the answers first!
    I've finished the game years ago with a Jester as (Charname/Main) and at the end of ToB i was like - Damn i can do so much stuff but in the same time i'm useless compared to any Companion i had in the party ...

    It's like i see the low rated kits not as bad , but as illogical.Some of them are really fun , till you hit the wall.

    @Borek I get you about the XP Cap dude , but remember that when you play solo - you get the whole XP for your 1 character.
    Meaning that you can get faster to the godhood with stuff like Mordekainen and Horrid Wilting that can be accessed really early in BG2 if you solo.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,324
    I wouldn't say useless. Any of the Bard variants are arguably the most broken classes in the game. A lot of people only try to use one aspect of them though.
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 254
    @ThacoBell, how are bards broken? Sadly I don't have that much experience playing them.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,324

    @ThacoBell, how are bards broken? Sadly I don't have that much experience playing them.

    Individually their abilities don't seem to be much, but their hodge podge of skills combined with their stupid fast levelling allows for some great combos. With some micro you can take action and keep the bard song active for your party. Awesome buff/dispelling abilities because of their high caster level. Blades are single classed fighter/mages with insane burst offense/defense. A lot of their synergy makes the rest of the party stronger, but especially blades are insanely lethal, even compared to multiclasses and true fighters.
    OrlonKronsteenAerakarNuinCrevsDaak
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 254
    I'd never have known. I played a blade once and it didn't seem that powerful but I guess I didn't know what I was doing. But then again, the micro is where it usually breaks down for me. I have a somewhat lazy play-style. I'll pass on anything that requires lots of buffing and prepping. As for other classes, it's interesting to hear players giving wizard slayers and shapeshifters their props.
    sarevok57
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,324
    Yeah Bards are micro heavy and they don't really take off until they get stoneskin. Luckily their utility at helping the rest of the party eases the early game.
    CrevsDaak
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639
    ThacoBell said:

    Shapeshifter is one of the most underrated classes out there. Bard gets a surprising amount if dismissal as well.

    Bard kits are all great and different and interesting, but Vanilla Bard is blech. I mean, eventually you get the HLA song and all bards converge into Blades and sub-par Blades. But prior to convergence, Vanilla Bard is just a crappy Skald for people whose favorite part of the game is the pickpocketing. (IWD Bards are a different matter entirely; those guys are rad.)

    I do think that there's a lot to say for a Druid kit with some negatives that make him squishier in melee, but who is essentially just a back-line spellslinger who comes equipped with a kickass combat transformation to help him preserve his spells in the early game.

    The problem for the Shapeshifter is that Druid kit is the Avenger.
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 6,914
    Luck is only busted if you stack it to +3 or higher. +1 Luck is a fine bonus. And there is a version of the Luck Bonus opcode that does not stack... though I don't know if the bard song uses it.
  • NuinNuin Member Posts: 389
    edited March 17
    There's a difference between underrated and underpowered. Beastmasters are arguably underpowered (at least in the general sense, because they do have niche advantages especially in BG1) and are definitely underrated. Bard and druid/mage kits other than the popular varieties are underrated, but definitely not underpowered. These are all still very powerful spellcasters.

    Bard progression is actually pretty solid, imo. All bards can defend the party from fear spells (and lots of BG1 casters love those), all of them can steal, they make excellent back row archers, they can use most items and they give you extra castings of spells like Sleep. Also, bards (along with thieves and druids) have the fastest level progression from early-mid game, which allows them to force higher level versions of NPCs to spawn earlier. Free higher level party mates.
    Personally, I think a bard's life starts to get really good once they get Melf's Minute Meteors. The one place they don't really scale well is the BG1 Black Pits, because that section uses a different meta that heavily favors multiclasses.

    Bards can be considered overpowered because there's just too many advantages to being one. In particular, all bards have access unique abilities that scale off everyone else (to non-Jesters, this means they get stronger as everyone else gets stronger - it's that line of thinking that can land them in "most broken class" arguments). Jesters may not be as powerful as other bards but even they have surprising utility in high difficulty/modded content because their song bypasses spell protections, and is only blocked by successful saves/immunity.

    The most underrated classes for the PC are definitely the plain class ones, especially the ones you normally don't dual from. Plain cleric, plain thief, plain mage, plain druid...
    VitharArctodusThacoBellOrlonKronsteen
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639
    To me, "underrated" doesn't just mean classes people think are bad but are actually kind of good. Because yeah, by that definition, a plain-clothes Bard or Thief or Paladin or Cleric are "underrated". (1) People think they're pretty much directly inferior to their kits, with no advantages to speak of, and (2) they're still totally playable classes that can easily dominate the game.

    At the risk of getting into an argument over the meaning of words, (the worst kind of argument to stumble into!), "underrated" to me suggests (1) People think they're pretty much directly inferior to XXXXX, and (2) people are wrong.

    As a "for instance", for a long time I underrated Avengers. I thought they were basically gimped Druids with a couple extra spell choices that didn't come close to changing the class. I mean, how good is Chromatic Orb really if every mage on the planet is stuffing his spellbook with Magic Missiles, instead? Lightning Bolt is just a hard-to-aim fireball.

    I was wrong: they may only get one extra spell per level, but those spells totally change the class. Vanilla druids are stuck with a bunch of garbage level 1, 2, 3 and 4 spell slots with nothing really worth casting from them. My druids basically wound up memorizing a bazillion Cure Light Wounds and Cure Medium Wounds just so I could rest until healed more conventiently, and Call Woodland Beings is amazing, but really, how many times do you need to cast it? And I can't even remember the last time I used a level 2 spell slot from a non-Avenger Druid.

    So the Avenger isn't just getting one extra second-rate Mage spell per level. He's taking useless spell slots and turning them into usable spell slots. It's a dramatic difference. (I also underrated debuffs in general; Web and Chaos are some of the strongest spells in the entire saga, though for an Avenger Chaos is competing with Iron Skins and Insect Plague.)

    Now imagine Beamdog invented a Sorceror kit called the Bore-ceror. It's exactly like the Sorceror, except he gains all new spells one level later, gets a -2 penalty to all stats on character creation, and he only rolls d3 for hit points. Two things would be true about that kit. (1) It would be a total garbage kit that is across-the-board worse than a vanilla sorceror, and (2) it'd still be one of maybe the six easiest classes to solo the entire trilogy with.

    Does that mean it'd be underrated? I'd say no, because all of the complaints in (1) are still 100% true and the point in (2) doesn't invalidate them in any way. I'd say it's probably pretty accurately rated.

    Which I guess is a long way of saying that for me, in order to be underrated, it's not enough for a class/kit to still be playable or even powerful, it's more that the common criticisms everyone has of that class/kit are actually wrong. I mean, people say that there's literally no reason to play a Kitless Cleric, since Kitted Clerics offer you exactly the same thing with extra abilities and no negatives whatsoever. And the fact that Kitless Clerics are still pretty darn good doesn't change the fact that people are right and there's literally no (non-RP) reason to ever pick one. Ever.

    Vanilla Bard can be a pretty powerful character if you're not adverse to some heavy micromanagement, but at the end of the day he's still just a crappy Skald with no real advantages that a couple Potions of Master Thievery can't rectify. Or else he's basically just a hobbled Blade with absolutely no advantages, (except for Lore, I guess), for 100% of BG1, 50% of SoA, and 100% of ToB.
    VitharBelgarathMTH
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 639
    sarevok57 said:

    - if your thac0 is crap, then crossbows kind of suck, yes they do more damage, but bows come with an extra attack per round, so when it comes to the point of rolling 20s, bows will do it more often ( I've heard crossbows can be great, but perhaps they are only great if used by warrior types, since they actually have some thac0 and can game some proficiency in them

    Crossbows suck on warriors, too, though it's not quite as bad. (It's the difference between 50% as many attacks per round on rogues and 66-75% as many attacks per round on warriors.) The one exception is the Light Crossbow of Speed in BG1, given the lack of any +APR bows. It'll get you as many attacks per round as the Composite Longbow +1 or the Eagle Bow, but it also gives you access to those beautiful Bolts of Lightning, (which in a party with 5 ranged attackers is important; you can't all five fight over your limited supply of Acid Arrows).

    In BG2, Firetooth's bonuses used to stack when you had actual bolts equipped, (meaning it dealt 2d8 +2 +4 damage instead of 1d8 +2 +4). That was enough to make it a top contender, but it's been fixed by now, which means it's mostly just an inferior Gesen's when it comes to interrupting mages through Stoneskin. And LCoS loses its luster when shortbows answer back with Tuigan.
    sarevok57
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 2,899
    SomeSort said:

    sarevok57 said:

    - if your thac0 is crap, then crossbows kind of suck, yes they do more damage, but bows come with an extra attack per round, so when it comes to the point of rolling 20s, bows will do it more often ( I've heard crossbows can be great, but perhaps they are only great if used by warrior types, since they actually have some thac0 and can game some proficiency in them

    Crossbows suck on warriors, too, though it's not quite as bad. (It's the difference between 50% as many attacks per round on rogues and 66-75% as many attacks per round on warriors.) The one exception is the Light Crossbow of Speed in BG1, given the lack of any +APR bows. It'll get you as many attacks per round as the Composite Longbow +1 or the Eagle Bow, but it also gives you access to those beautiful Bolts of Lightning, (which in a party with 5 ranged attackers is important; you can't all five fight over your limited supply of Acid Arrows).

    In BG2, Firetooth's bonuses used to stack when you had actual bolts equipped, (meaning it dealt 2d8 +2 +4 damage instead of 1d8 +2 +4). That was enough to make it a top contender, but it's been fixed by now, which means it's mostly just an inferior Gesen's when it comes to interrupting mages through Stoneskin. And LCoS loses its luster when shortbows answer back with Tuigan.
    yeah, one of my swashbucklers was using the crossbow of speed, and I had 3 swashbucklers using crossbows, and they were all using bolts of lightning ( which theoretically there is infinite of them if you just sell stacks of them back to holmes in the sorcerus sundries) so it was okay, but I would assume it is much better on a warrior class who could actually get a thac0 less than 10 with 3 APR instead of a swashy still only have 2 APR and I think his thac0 was around 10 or so, so it was meh

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,349
    @sarevok57 given that my Forum signature photo is of a swashbuckler using a crossbow I sort of feel the need to defend those :p. I agree absolutely that bows are better in the circumstances you're describing for your party where you're trying to maximise APR. However, if you were playing solo things would be different. In that case you would likely want to make use of the swashbuckler's stealth ability - which would mean APR would be pretty much irrelevant (the same would be almost true if you were just using run and shoot tactics). Pretty much everything in the game can be killed by stealth shots without responding and in those circumstances a heavy crossbow is normally the best missile weapon available.
    ArctodusOrlonKronsteenAerakar
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 2,899
    Grond0 said:

    @sarevok57 given that my Forum signature photo is of a swashbuckler using a crossbow I sort of feel the need to defend those :p. I agree absolutely that bows are better in the circumstances you're describing for your party where you're trying to maximise APR. However, if you were playing solo things would be different. In that case you would likely want to make use of the swashbuckler's stealth ability - which would mean APR would be pretty much irrelevant (the same would be almost true if you were just using run and shoot tactics). Pretty much everything in the game can be killed by stealth shots without responding and in those circumstances a heavy crossbow is normally the best missile weapon available.

    ah, now there is some irony, I've only ever had a solo run once on insane difficulty ( had lots on story mode, but that doesn't count) but the one time I did do a solo run, I was a swashbuckler and I was doing melee, now perhaps if you are the no reload type, then range is definitely the place to go, but since I don't care if I reload a million times, melee worked just fine for me, even when I was getting chunked from every critical hit that came my way haha

    Grond0
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member Posts: 2,121
    edited March 19
    Since we were talking about Bards prior. . .

    Regular Bards get +1 Luck bonus at 1, +2 at 15, and +3 at 20.

    With the Bard Hat from SoD any Bard can fight and sing at the same time. I'm running a blade right now and just got Enhanced Bard Song. I can say that giving out that +1 Luck and fear immunity while still fighting with the bard hat is super fun.

    Though I want to do a Jester after this run, equip the Pixie Prick and just sing to confuse and then stab people to sleep lol

    Edit: Derp, missed the post going in depth about the luck bonuses somehow. Very insightful.
    ThacoBellsarevok57Vithar
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