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Assassins using darts after 2.3, still worthwhile?

With the poison weapon changes in 2.3, are darts still worth it for assassins and ranged-poisoners? Stacking that poison was what made darts great. I guess spreading the pain in groups is still viable, but that sure does take a lot more micro-management.

It seems that without poison-stacking the dart advantage diminishes greatly, leaving short-bows and/or throwing daggers (mainly in SoA) as preferred assassin weapons.



  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,153
    Yeah, I'd stick to short-bows/throwing daggers.

  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 713
    Thanks @CrevsDaak for the reply.

    Darts are less attractive now it seems for assassins. I guess my gnomish killer will stick to short bows then for BG and throw in both returning and poisoned throwing daggers (pun intended) while stalking through Amn.

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,729
    I find it unfortunate that they nerfed Poison Weapon as severely as they did--it didn't need to be made that much weaker--but now that I think about it, a high APR weapon would still be very helpful for an Assassin, because thieves have poor THAC0 and will often miss.

  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 713
    @semiticgod , how would you rank ranged weapons in order of preference for assassins (1) and then other thieves (2)?

  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 713
    edited March 2017
    @semiticgod that is an excellent and insightful rundown, thank you! I have always founds crossbows - Army Scythe or Firetooth - to be hard-hitting with their magic bolts and your ranking seems to reflect this too. I see you give weight to dart APR, which makes sense it seems with thief THACO being so sucky.

    Would you be willing to take a similar crack at ranking melee weapons for thieves in both games?

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,812
    Which weapon is best is hugely affected by your playstyle. For instance for a solo thief who does a lot of stealth shots from extreme range (allowing you to retreat before enemies react) then slings are probably the best option (APR is not an issue and they give bonus strength damage).

    For most thieves I would say that in BG1 the best all-round missile weapon is the Eagle bow that Marek has (though as noted above a sling may be better if you do lots of stealth shots). In BG2 I don't think there's a clear all-round winner - the Sling of Everard, light crossbow of speed, either Firetooth, Tuigan, Tansheron, crimson dart all have claims to be the best in a particular situation.

    In summary I would say that any missile proficiency offers you perfectly decent options, so you may wish to make your decision on RP or aesthetic grounds rather than seeking the 'best' alternative.

  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 713
    @semiticgod , @Grond0 , @lunar , thanks for these insightful comments. This game continues to challenge my brain with so many options, variables, and combinations, but that is why I still enjoy it!

    On quarterstaffs, with THS and the +3 Aule's Staff one from Ulgoth's Bear in BG1, the average damage will exceed +2 Varscona - 7.5 versus 6.5 if my math is correct - before the +1 cold damage is accounted for. With THS I would propose that quarterstaff should be above long sword for BG1 and therefore be in slot 2 for both games for a non-swashbuckler. Also, the + THACO is 1 higher and also the staff is faster with better reach than Varscona. It is not as accessible as Varscona, but plausibly available early enough regardless.

    Losing the +1 cold damage is a negative since that helps with resistances and stoneskins, but the damage type - crushing versus slashing - somewhat evens that out in the longer-run. Regardless the cold damage is not multiplied in backstabs.

  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 713
    I have never used Celestial Fury (blushes) except when I take Valygar, but @semiticgod you have convinced me to try it during my next run with a thief. That stun on a backstab looks tasty. I will start with short swords and work up to Katanas later in SoA.

  • comebackhomecomebackhome Member Posts: 254
    Toasting in an epic bread.

    No really.

    @Semiticgod Very insightful, can you post a run down for warriors too?

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,153

    Toasting in an epic bread.

    No really.

    Semiticgod Very insightful, can you post a run down for warriors too?

    Single-class warrior (if Ranger I recommend Dual-wield instead of two-handers):
    Two-handed swords (you can get the +1 really early on, +2 is just pure awesome)
    Long swords (can get +2 really early on, 2nd most damaging single handed weapon in the game)
    Quarterstaves (most damaging single handed weapon in the game, ok staves early on as well, good Speed factor)
    Daggers (Dagger of Venom is OP, you can get +2 without even fighting really early on)
    Maces (can get +1 without fighting really early on, +2 deals a lot of damage, mostly here for Clerics anyway)
    Bastard swords (they deal good damage, besides they're the best weapon against Werewolves/Loup Garoup, also Foebane in BG2 is disgustingly OP)

    Single-class warrior:
    Long bows (no explanation needed)
    Short bows (still better ammo and in higher quantities than crossbows, besides better ApR)
    Crossbows (highest damage per hit ranged weapons unless you're a Barbarian)
    Slings (loads of damage but low ApR, takes a lot of time to build up the damage)
    Darts (if Wizard Slayer these are better than Crossbows, otherwise almost useless except for Wounding/Stunning ones, which you shouldn't even need to use them in vanilla tbh)

    == For dual-wielding ==

    any dual wield option (suitable for the class) in post above
    Long swords (good immunities, The Answerer, can find lots of good ones early on)
    Short swords (same reasons as Long swords, except they suck lategame)
    Axes (OK most of the game, broken in lategame, no immunities but ranged possibilities and Undead destroy % chance)
    Maces (same reasons as Axes except no throwing ones and they suck lategame, but you can get Level Drain immunity)

    Two handed swords (Carsomyr. Need I say more?)
    Halberds (Dragon's Breath is very good at interrupting mages, the +6 one is very good too)
    any dual wield option (suitable for the class) in post above
    Long swords (see Rangers)
    Maces (see Rangers, if you're an Undead Slayer, ignore these ones)
    shield + GWW with whatever weapon you please (gives good AC and you don't lose any damage, you lose more access to other HLAs tho)

    Staff of the Ram+6 with GWW (maximum melee damage output from a Warrior class in vanilla)
    Halberds (see Paladins)
    Two handed swords (good damage, but they're better in SoA than in ToB, still not bad)
    any dual wield option (suitable for the class) in post above
    Long swords (see Rangers)
    shield + GWW with whatever weapon you please (see Paladins)

    Wizard Slayers:
    Crossbows (Firetooth is just too good, can be bought for not much, you have good ApR anyway and it deals a lot of damage, besides, Kuo Toa Bolts are OP, same for Jan's ammo and the BMU's gun with 5 ApR)
    Darts (good ApR, +3 can be found really early on although not as much as Firetooth)
    Short bows (ApR is great if you use Tuigan's, but worthless past half of SoA unless you switch to Gesen's)
    Long bows (junk for WS, unless you've used them in BG1 and want to continue doing so. Stick to the Mana Bow, it gives you resistance vs. Magic damage)
    Slings (you want ApR as a WS, so unless you intend to pair them with GWW, don't look here)

    Everyone else:
    Crossbows (see Wizard Slayers)
    Short bows (see Wizard Slayers)
    Slings (very good damage, but takes too long to build up, ApR is bad but I mean who cares about that)
    Long bows (unless you're an archer or your thief is using short bows, ignore these)
    Darts (pretty much useless for Fighters/Paladins/Rangers, damage is bad when you compare them to anything else)

    * The weapons listed on the post on dual-wielding are better than the ones listed under the "refer to dual wielding post" thing
    * I think Celestial Fury is overrated and it's better off on the hands of someone not looking towards dealing direct melee damage.
    * I only listed single-class Warriors. For Fighter/Clerics it should be the same but with weapons Clerics can use instead. For Fighters/Thieves, you can do whatever you want actually, because you have UAI, backstab and can get proficiency in any weapon in the game, just have fun.

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,729
    @comebackhome: I'm too tired to post a treatise on warrior weapon choices. But @CrevsDaak covered basically all of the bases.

    My favored BG1 fighter setup is longbows because the extra APR is so strong and STR bonuses aren't as important.

    My favored BG2 fighter setup is Belm in the off hand and Celestial Fury in the main hand to maximize the stun effects. However, if I'm running a Barbarian, I use the Defender of Easthaven in the off hand because it stacks well with their damage resistances.

  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    I find Darts to be even better for Assassins after the poison weapon nerf, at least relatively speaking. In addition to giving enough APR to increase your odds of landing a hit, Darts of Wounding force enemy mages to make a second save if they want to prevent the damage per time component that interrupts their spellcasting. (Arrows of Biting does the same thing, but bows can't achieve 3 APR in BG1, and Darts of Wounding are more common than Arrows of Biting in BG2.) Plus, darts from Cloak of the Stars can hit through Mantle.

    If you're running low on your stock of special darts, Tuigan gives you an identical 3 APR and is the backup ranged weapon of choice for poison weapon, (preferably with Arrows of Biting for double poison or Arrows of Piercing for the big THACO boost). And the Army Scythe + Kuo-Toa Bolts is another fun way to force enemies to make double-saves.

    Fire Tooth (throwing dagger), Firetooth (crossbow), and Gesen's are typically some of the best ranged weapons, but I find Assassins are less about raw damage and more about APR and ammo with a second "save or ______" effect. Though Firetooth (and Heavy Crossbow of Accuracy and Sling of Everard) are still worth mentioning if for nothing else than the massive THACO bonus.

  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    Aerakar said:

    Daggers are last because good throwing daggers are scarce. If my memory is correct, Firetooth +3 (not the +4 crossbow, but the +3 throwing dagger) is only available in the Underdark. It's a powerful weapon, however, and in the most recent version of EE, it can be dual-wielded and still grant 2 APR, making it extremely useful for a Swashbuckler--enough to put daggers at the top of the list for Swashbucklers, though you might wait to put pips in daggers until later in the game (putting them in short swords or scimitars for Kundane and Belm instead).

    One more good throwing dagger is the Boomerang dagger from the limited wish quest which is obtainable early. It is returning, does 2-8 +2 and also gives 2 attacks ranged or melee. One could go with daggers for DoV in BG and then move to Boomerang in SoA and then later Fire Tooth in the Underdark making daggers somewhat more attractive.

    The supply is super-limited, but there are also poisoned throwing daggers, which I believe might be the last no-save damage-over-time poison effect left after the poison weapon nerf, which makes them useful for major battles.

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