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New Player, want to give BG a try but unsure of what to play or what is good.

griffrgriffr Member Posts: 2
Hi Everyone,

I just bought BG:EE and am in the process of starting a new character. I had played some BG in the past but don't remember much of it at all. The numbers and math of this game are somewhat daunting, especially after playing something as statistically simple as Planescape, which I just completed.

I've been wanting to play a trueclass, and I've been considering Ranger and Shaman for my first run through the game. I don't care much about minmaxing past character generation, and I'm not planning on playing the game online at all, or on any difficulty higher than maybe Core Rules. This is a purely "I want to play through the story, but have a little bit of a challenge, nothing major" run through.

However, every post I've found have mostly taken the perspective that multiclass/dual class kits are the metagame, and as a result I'm kind of confused on how to get started or how I should plan to play these classes. I just like the idea of having a naturey character raised in Candlekeep, kind of an outsider but not just a beefy fighter type. Quite frankly I find most fighter classes pretty boring in these types of games. Or at least slightly uninteresting.

Is Shaman viable? How about Ranger? And if so, what are the stats I should focus on, and what proficiencies work well? I was considering focusing on Axes, because I think they are kind of cool, but from what I read certain axes that have Throwing properties can't be dual-wielded, so that sort of stopped me in my tracks.

Considering playing as a Half-elf or Half-orc. Will pick whatever one makes the classes better.

Thanks so much for the help, and I apologize if this is overly noobish -- I did some searching using the search function but I didn't see anything that specifically answered my questions.

JuliusBorisovAerakarRavenslight

Comments

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,373
    Ask yourself what it is you want to do in game before deciding anything. It's an RPG, decide what character you see yourself as.

    For instance, for myself I like my charname to be the most active, running around here and there doing stuff. Other players like the idea of themselves being the puppetmaster, pulling the strings of the NPC, sending this one here that one there.
    So once that's decided, next look at single classes/kits and read what they do, don't multi/dual first playthrough it will just frustrate you but some kits give you things which cross boundries.

    For instance, because of my ego wanting to do everything myself, I need to be able to unlock those chests myself, find those traps myself. But want to be able to fight as well.
    So it's usually Swashbuckler for me, armour class bonuses for some fighting, can use shortbows for ranged and can lay traps, open locks, find traps ect. for solo scouting.
    Magic/spells, some other NPC can do all that, it's just not me. But a cleric can fight well and do spells.

    An archer in BG is phenomenally strong but always remember they are an archer so you will need somebody to stand in the front line taking damage whilst you destroy them with your arrows. Or you need to keep some distance by moving around.
    A sharman is a new class and so there's not going to be so much info on them so I'd advise against.

    Half Orc/half elf?
    What do you see your character as?
    Again I think half orc is a later addition so the game wasn't designed to have that option (somebody correct me if I'm wrong) so nobody references it.

    Throwing axes, heavy and you have to carry a lot of them. Arrows, enemies drop them a lot for you to pick up and there are some super dooper types of arrow available for hard cash (which you will have a lot of later on). No contest for me first run, some arrows are game breaking in effectiveness and fun, fun, fun.

    Stats,
    it was a late discovery for me that Dexterity boosts armour class, now it's my first priority.
    Strength, just makes the game easier, can carry lots and when you do hit something, it hurts more.
    Charisma, saves you money and allows a mixed alignment party with less fallouts (and again ego, always ego, this is fantasy)
    I'll let others fill in the rest, those are my 3 most important.

    What I will warn of though is that you will get replies which tell you all sorts of things about what you can do in game, lots of info about things you "can" find. First playthrough, ignore them. You don't need a walkthrough guide and will enjoy the game a lot more without constantly feeling you have "missed" something or losing that sense of "oh wow, that's so nice to find that unexpectedly".


    JuliusBorisovAerakarRavenslight
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    First off, everything is viable. Any class or kit is capable of easily beating the game, any weaknesses can be compensated for with your choice of traveling companions, and even the "weakest" kits will still be contributing.

    If you want to play a ranger, play a ranger, it's a fine class. If you want to play a shaman, play a shaman, it's a fine class. And so on.

    With that caveat out of the way, I'd advise against a Shaman on the first run, because of the way the Shaman's mechanics work. He selects his spells when he levels up, and then he can only cast the spells that he selects. This is really, really good, generally, because there are usually only a handful of spells each level that are worth casting.

    But this is bad for a new player because, without prior experience with a druid, you probably won't know which spells are part of that handful that are worth casting, and making some suboptimal spell choices can really hurt your effectiveness in the short run, (and, depending on level, potentially the long run too).

    The Ranger doesn't really have any mechanic like that where it's possible to make "mistakes" while leveling him. Sure, you could pick a suboptimal "Favored Enemy", or you might place proficiency points in weapon classes that aren't that great, but none of that really matters that much in terms of your overall effectiveness. A ranger with short swords isn't as good as a ranger with long swords, but... he's still fine.

    Rangers also get more HP, better gear, better armor (unless you pick Beastmaster, which... again, everything is viable, but probably don't pick Beastmaster for your first run-through). This gives you a bit more margin for error if you make mistakes, and you'll definitely be making lots of mistakes; Baldur's Gate can be pretty punishing as you're learning what does what through trial and (mostly) error.

    (As an example of the kind of trial-and-error process required: there are enemies called basilisks who can turn you to stone with their gaze, killing you instantly. It's relatively easy to protect against this with a "Protection from Petrification" spell or a special potion that protects you from gaze attacks. The problem is basilisks are crazy-rare, so you're not just going to have those protections up all the time. You might stumble into a basilisk somewhere and get killed before you even have a chance to get your protections up. But then you learn "there are basilisks here", and the next time you visit you come prepared.)

    Axes are fine weapons that are relatively well-represented throughout the series. They're nice because proficiency points in axes give you access to both a melee weapon and a ranged weapon, though throwing axes are really heavy and you won't want to rely on them as a primary weapon until you find a magic one that returns to your hand after you throw it.

    You can't dual-wield throwing axes, but you can dual-wield melee axes, and the melee versions will be better than their throwing counterparts anyway.

    Several people have mentioned the Archer kit, and that's actually a very new-player-friendly option. Ranged damage is king in BG1, and Archers are the king of ranged damage, so they'll make the early game much easier, giving you a little bit more cushion in your "learning stuff through trial and error" phase.

    But at the same time, some people don't like ranged attacks that much, and Archers don't really have a lot of gameplay variety to them. It's basically "see enemy, shoot arrows at enemy". If you find a satisfaction in having a powerful character that efficiently murderizes all forms of evil he comes across, the Archer will scratch that itch. If you find satisfaction in having a character that requires lots of heavy decision-making and tradeoffs to achieve maximum power... the Archer's not really going to scratch that itch.

    Something like a Stalker has a steeper learning curve, but if you're the type of person who likes micromanaging, it'll give you a much more satisfying gameplay experience. It'll involve a lot of jumping in and out of stealth, sneaking up behind unprepared enemies for devastating first strikes, etc. It'll involve a lot more dying, too, but that's not a big deal; you're going to die a lot on your first runthrough no matter what. That's what the reload button is for.

    The game will be a bit harder, but if ranged isn't your thing, it's better to play a harder game that you enjoy than an easier game that you don't. And like I said... every class and kit and race combination is totally viable, and any weaknesses can easily be shored up by your travel companions.
    JuliusBorisovAerakarRavenslight
  • RideratRiderat Member Posts: 131
    griffr said:

    Hi Everyone!

    I might try the Stalker kit or the Shaman next time around -- once I learn the mechanics I'm sure it will make the decisions a little bit easier to make, as you guys said.

    Stalker is love! Awesome class! Haven't pulled mine into ToB yet, but stalker is a great scout, dual-wielder and pure dps machine - can go into long-swords, bastard-swords (which will be very useful once you get to the ToTSC), katanas, you name it. Also, you get some cleric spells, but, by the end of first game you have access to only one. Nevertheless, I love the class and just wanted to share it! :D have fun traveling the Sword Coast.
    JuliusBorisovAerakarthespaceRavenslight
  • thespacethespace Member Posts: 993
    Riderat said:

    griffr said:

    Hi Everyone!

    I might try the Stalker kit or the Shaman next time around -- once I learn the mechanics I'm sure it will make the decisions a little bit easier to make, as you guys said.

    Stalker is love! Awesome class! Haven't pulled mine into ToB yet, but stalker is a great scout, dual-wielder and pure dps machine - can go into long-swords, bastard-swords (which will be very useful once you get to the ToTSC), katanas, you name it. Also, you get some cleric spells, but, by the end of first game you have access to only one. Nevertheless, I love the class and just wanted to share it! :D have fun traveling the Sword Coast.
    Here here! Well, besides the bastard swords. Even though the stalker can use any weapon, only thief "weapons" are usable to backstab (just in case someone doesn't know this). I do recommend clubs as they are the only blunt weapon that can be dual wielded and can backstab (well, besides a 1 handed quarterstaff, which could be a while before actually finding 2 of these).
    RavenslightAerakar
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,170
    First, welcome.

    Second, the best advice is "have fun".

    During the course of the game, you will find many characters who will join you. Therefore, you will find out how to play other classes and races. This game re-plays very, very well; some of us have been playing for nearly 20 years now. So pick something that appeals to you and go for it.

    thespaceRavenslightAerakar
  • SloaneRangerSloaneRanger Member Posts: 16
    griffr said:


    I've been wanting to play a trueclass, and I've been considering Ranger and Shaman for my first run through the game.

    Easiest character to generate and play is a half-orc fighter. Just make strength, dex and con at their max. All else can be 9 although high charisma is good as you get better prices at shops and rewards from NPCs with charisma of 12 or better. Make the halberd the preferred melee weapon and go for high master in it. You only need one point in crossbow. The reason for the halberd will be self evident in the game.

    If you want to play a ranger, that is almost as easy to generate and play. Basically go for the same stats as a fighter. Go for a dual weapon long sword wielding elf. You only need one point in a short bow. Consider 1 point in halberd skill for BG2.
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