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The Equalizer? What's so great about it?

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Comments

  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    Flashburn said:

    I also use it against the Fire Elementals and Burning Men in Yaga-Shura's area. Landing an instant kill against Imix is pretty funny too.

    Yes, me too.
    Attalus
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,469
    edited June 10
    It's a weapon that (like the Equalizer) you can't craft until Chapter 6. You also entirely miss out on it if you don't get the blade from the underwater city (which is pretty easy to do).

    From the standpoint of SoA (and the context I provided earlier) it's a weapon that adds more flavour than it adds usefulness. Like the Equalizer.
    Aerakar
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 1,983
    Yeah, but I think the argument is that once you get it, Wave is probably the best weapon of its type before TOB, and remains situationally unparalleled even after the Ravager shows up. The Equalizer, meanwhile, is basically on par with the other good longswords in the game (compare Daystar, for example), and is absolutely no competition for the Answerer or Angurvadal.
    GallowglassAttalusThacoBellQuartz
  • AttalusAttalus Member Posts: 148
    *decides to pickpocket the Sauhauguan Prince next time he is in the City of Caverns.*
    Quartz
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,146
    Jarrakul said:

    Yeah, but I think the argument is that once you get it, Wave is probably the best weapon of its type before TOB, and remains situationally unparalleled even after the Ravager shows up. The Equalizer, meanwhile, is basically on par with the other good longswords in the game (compare Daystar, for example), and is absolutely no competition for the Answerer or Angurvadal.

    I think this sums it up perfectly.
    Attalus
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,030
    Attalus said:

    *decides to pickpocket the Sauhauguan Prince next time he is in the City of Caverns.*

    Or just take the view my last character did: agree to help one side, help them, then eliminate them as well. Or, as I sid, "Kill them all, let Moradin sort it out!"
    GallowglassAttalus
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761

    Equalizer and also Gensen's bow should be considered more as quests than as weapons, in the way that what you finally get may not fully justify the procedure to gain them. Their story may mislead you to expect more. It is not that those are the best weapons in the game just because you need all this effort for them.

    Gesen's at least has the advantage of being the only bow in the game capable of hitting every enemy, as the default arrows inherit the +4 enchantment, so it's unique in that way.
    More than that; since the EEs fixed ammo stacking and dethroned Firetooth Crossbow, Gesen Shortbow is the highest-DPS missile launcher in the trilogy. If you have an archer and you're looking to maximize damage, you're running Gesen.
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    Jarrakul said:

    Yeah, but I think the argument is that once you get it, Wave is probably the best weapon of its type before TOB, and remains situationally unparalleled even after the Ravager shows up. The Equalizer, meanwhile, is basically on par with the other good longswords in the game (compare Daystar, for example), and is absolutely no competition for the Answerer or Angurvadal.

    The Equalizer is basically on par with other long swords in SoA, some available as early as Chapter 2, and inferior to the end-game ToB long-swords.

    The Wave is basically on par with other halberds in SoA, some available as early as Chapter 2, and inferior to the end-game ToB halberd.

    Looks pretty similar to me.
    elminsterAerakar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,146
    SomeSort said:

    Jarrakul said:

    Yeah, but I think the argument is that once you get it, Wave is probably the best weapon of its type before TOB, and remains situationally unparalleled even after the Ravager shows up. The Equalizer, meanwhile, is basically on par with the other good longswords in the game (compare Daystar, for example), and is absolutely no competition for the Answerer or Angurvadal.

    The Equalizer is basically on par with other long swords in SoA, some available as early as Chapter 2, and inferior to the end-game ToB long-swords.

    The Wave is basically on par with other halberds in SoA, some available as early as Chapter 2, and inferior to the end-game ToB halberd.

    Looks pretty similar to me.
    Well no, the Wave is flat out superior to every halberd in SoA, its not outclassed until ToB's Ravager. Saying the Equalizer is equivalent to ch.2 swords is disengenuous. Its basically the neutral equivalent to Carsomyr and can wielded in one hand. In terms of damage against the right enemies, its not really outclasses by anything in SoA.
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,058
    ThacoBell said:

    In terms of damage against the right enemies, its not really outclasses by anything in SoA.

    In the best scenario, The Equalizer has -3 THACO and 1d8+6 damage, i.e. an average of 10.5 damage per hit.

    In every scenario, Flail of Ages+3 has -3 THAC0 and 1d6+3+1+1+1 damage, or an average of 10 damage per hit. Plus a no-save slow on hit. Plus being blunt damage. Oh, and this weapon is available in Chapter 1 with minimum effort.
    AttalusQuartz
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,146

    ThacoBell said:

    In terms of damage against the right enemies, its not really outclasses by anything in SoA.

    In the best scenario, The Equalizer has -3 THACO and 1d8+6 damage, i.e. an average of 10.5 damage per hit.

    In every scenario, Flail of Ages+3 has -3 THAC0 and 1d6+3+1+1+1 damage, or an average of 10 damage per hit. Plus a no-save slow on hit. Plus being blunt damage. Oh, and this weapon is available in Chapter 1 with minimum effort.
    And while the equalizer doesn't have extra on-hit effects, it does grant a couple immunities. That doesn't make it worse than the FOA, that makes have better defensive utility. There are MANY tradeoffs between the various different artifacts in the game, and DPS is not the only facet worth comparing. Personally, I feel that daggers and short swords extra effects makes them superior to just about every other weapon type.
    Aerakar
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,058
    Immunity effects are useful, but extremely situational. There are very few times you get hit by disabling effects, when looking at the entirety of combat throughout the game - but nearly all of that time will be spent actually trying to do damage.

    Immunity weapons can easily just be equipped briefly when you're about to be hit by the effect they protect against, then switched out again for something with more damage afterwards.
  • WatchForWolvesWatchForWolves Member Posts: 88
    edited June 11
    SomeSort said:

    More than that; since the EEs fixed ammo stacking and dethroned Firetooth Crossbow, Gesen Shortbow is the highest-DPS missile launcher in the trilogy. If you have an archer and you're looking to maximize damage, you're running Gesen.

    What exactly did BG:EE change? I find it hard to believe anything can out-damage Tuigan's extra attack per round(except for situations where Tuigan will simply do no damage at all because of enchantment that is)
    Quartz
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 439
    edited June 11
    @WatchForWolves I don't believe there are any actual +4 arrows available ever in the unmodded game, so the Gesen Bow (whose default projectiles count as +4 arrows) is capable of damaging everything that isn't immune to magical weapons (or electricity, but you can override the default projectiles in those cases). Tuigan has more raw DPS from the extra APR but can't hit everything (though it can still hit through PfMW via non-magical arrows and is in fact better for that job than Gesen because of the extra APR).

    If there are +4 or better arrows (such as from a mod), Tuigan wins the top spot because of the extra APR. Otherwise, that goes to Gesen because of basically being a bottomless quiver of +4 arrows that deal electric damage (with Tuigan's extra APR being a close second) - remember, magical arrows tend to be expensive.

    Either way, Mazzy's mowing through most everything with whatever shortbow you choose.
    ThacoBell
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,058
    There's like 5 enemies in the entire game that need +4 or higher to hit, hardly enough of an argument for a flat-out win.

    Thankfully that's completely irrelevant since the two items aren't mutually exclusive in any way. Use whatever gives you the most damage in a given scenario. If that's Gesen because of enchantment level or some other relevant factor (like e.g. Whirlwind Attack) then use that. If it's Tuigan, then use that. Both are short bows so you can just switch on the fly.
    Pokotabob_veng
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 439
    edited June 11
    I would counter that with "Gesen doesn't take a damage penalty against skeletal undead like Tuigan does" but by the point you have both bows Skeletal Undead are a non-issue anyway. Plus I think Gesen can damage through stoneskins but I'm not completely certain about that? I'll test that this week.
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,058
    Gesen does go through Stoneskin, but so does Tuigan with any of the elemental arrows slotted.
    Quartz
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    ThacoBell said:

    Well no, the Wave is flat out superior to every halberd in SoA, its not outclassed until ToB's Ravager. Saying the Equalizer is equivalent to ch.2 swords is disengenuous. Its basically the neutral equivalent to Carsomyr and can wielded in one hand. In terms of damage against the right enemies, its not really outclasses by anything in SoA.

    Wave is one of three +4 Halberds in vanilla SoA, though most players aren't going to stumble across Blackmist. (Which is a shame, because AoE Blindness is really cool, basically a crazy-long-duration Glitterdust.) Also worth consideration is Harmonium Halberd, which is "only" +3, but could be situationally much more powerful. Here's the comparison:

    Wave: +4 THACO / +4 Damage / +15% chance at +15 damage (+2.25 average)
    Dragon's Breath: +4 THACO / +5 Rainbow Elemental damage
    Blackmist: +4 THACO / +4 Damage / casts an AoE Blindness spell 3x/day
    Harmonium Halberd: +3 THACO / +3 damage / +1 Strength

    Wave tops the charts in raw damage, but it's worth noting that much of that damage is spike damage and will be lost to overkill. It's like Deathbringer Assault: sure, theoretically you're getting 200 damage 3% of the time, which works out to 6 extra damage per attack mathematically. But if you trigger Deathbringer Assault on an enemy with only 1 HP left, 199 of that damage will be "wasted". It's better to have a consistent-but-low boost than an inconsistent-but-high boost.

    Dragon's Breath is nearly on par, average-damage wise (ignoring criticals, which give Wave another edge), but the rainbow elemental factor gives it a lot more utility when dealing with enemies with various immunities or when trying to interrupt mages through Stoneskins. Outside of Salamanders / Fire Elementals, I typically opt for it over Wave when I have them both. But it's more or less a wash either way.

    Harmonium Halberd is the real wildcard, though. At a bare minimum, +1 strength = +1 damage for all strength values over 17. It also results in a THACO boost if your starting strength is 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, or 24. So we could sort of consider that strength bonus to be roughly equivalent to +0.5 THACO and +1 damage.

    But if your starting strength is 18, instead, suddenly it's giving you +2 THACO and +5 damage (or +5 THACO and +8 damage when adding its base enchantment), which quite frankly blows The Wave out of the water. (Yes, that pun was intended.) So at best, there's at least a discussion to be had about The Wave vs. Dragon's Breath vs. Blackmist. At worst, all three of them take a major back seat to Harmonium Halberd, available for purchase in Waukeen's Promenade at the start of Chapter 2.

    Also, against "corner alignment" enemies, Equalizer hits as +3 and deals 1d8+6 damage (10.5 average). Against evil undead creatures, Daystar deals 2d8+8 damage (17 average). Daystar also hits as a +4, while Equalizer only hits as a +3. If comparing Equalizer to Daystar is disingenuous, it's only because Daystar is amazing, not because Equalizer is.

    Anyway, I guess the point I'm trying to get at is that Wave and Equalizer are similar in that despite the effort required to forge them, neither stands apart from its peers in any meaningful way, especially compared to other Cromwell items like Shadow Dragon Scale, Crom Faeyr, or Gesen.
    GallowglassAerakarelminster
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761

    SomeSort said:

    More than that; since the EEs fixed ammo stacking and dethroned Firetooth Crossbow, Gesen Shortbow is the highest-DPS missile launcher in the trilogy. If you have an archer and you're looking to maximize damage, you're running Gesen.

    What exactly did BG:EE change? I find it hard to believe anything can out-damage Tuigan's extra attack per round(except for situations where Tuigan will simply do no damage at all because of enchantment that is)
    It's been quite a long while since I've tested the behavior of the ammo-generating launchers in vanilla BG2, so you'll forgive if I'm off a bit on the specifics. I'm pretty confident in the general outline, though: Firetooth with ammo equipped deals less damage per shot in BG2EE than it did in BG2 vanilla.

    Anyway, here's how I remember/understand it. Weapons that generated their own ammo used to have their generated ammo "stack" with equipped ammo. When attacking, you got the damage both from the generated ammo *AND* from the equipped ammo. In the EEs, you only get the damage from the generated ammo *OR* the equipped ammo. (I have tested and confirmed this.)

    Firetooth without any bolts equipped dealt 1d8 + 4 + 2 damage. Regular bolts deal 1d8 damage. So Firetooth with regular bolts equipped dealt 2d8 + 4 + 2 damage. Equipping regular bolts gave it a boost of 4.5 damage per shot. (That 15 damage per shot is *massive*, by the way.)

    This was less of an issue for Gesen, since its generated arrows only deal a flat 2 damage, plus its 1d8 lightning bonus. So equipping regular arrows (1d6 damage) meant it dealt 1d6 + 2 + 1d8 damage per shot, or 10 average. Firetooth dealt 5 more damage per shot, which helped overcome the fact that Gesen got one more shot per round.

    But in BG2EE (at least as of patch 1.3), the ammo stacking issue has been resolved. Now Firetooth deals 1d8 + 4 + 2 with no bolts equipped, and also deals 1d8 + 4 + 2 damage with regular bolts equipped. That's 10.5 damage per shot either way. Gesen deals 2 + 1d8 with nothing equipped and 1d6 + 1d8 with regular arrows equipped, which is 6.5 or 8 damage per shot on average. Firetooth sees its damage advantage drop from 5 points to 2.5 points, which is enough for Gesen to pass it in terms of damage per round thanks to that extra attack.

    As for Tuigan, it only gets 0.5 extra APR over Gesen if you factor in the Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specialization, (Gesen hits as high as 4.5 APR, Tuigan caps at 5 APR). That's enough to push Gesen ahead. If you remove the gauntlets from the consideration, (say if you give both archers Gauntlets of Weapon Expertise for the +2 damage but no extra attacks), then the Tuigan archer will deal 112.5 damage per round while the Gesen archer will deal 112 damage per round, virtual parity.

    Tuigan, of course, always retains an advantage when it comes to Called Shot, since it can trigger more effects. Gesen retains the ability to hit enemies that require +4 weapons, but doing so requires unequipping your arrows, which will cost you a bit of damage output, (1.5 damage per attack if you're using regular arrows, more if you're using acid arrows).

    If you're interested in a complete rundown, I calculated maximum realistic damage output of various ranged attackers at various points in the saga here: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/63666/a-comparison-of-ranged-attackers-in-bg2
    PokotaThacoBellAerakar
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    Pokota said:

    @WatchForWolves I don't believe there are any actual +4 arrows available ever in the unmodded game, so the Gesen Bow (whose default projectiles count as +4 arrows) is capable of damaging everything that isn't immune to magical weapons (or electricity, but you can override the default projectiles in those cases). Tuigan has more raw DPS from the extra APR but can't hit everything (though it can still hit through PfMW via non-magical arrows and is in fact better for that job than Gesen because of the extra APR).

    If there are +4 or better arrows (such as from a mod), Tuigan wins the top spot because of the extra APR. Otherwise, that goes to Gesen because of basically being a bottomless quiver of +4 arrows that deal electric damage (with Tuigan's extra APR being a close second) - remember, magical arrows tend to be expensive.

    Either way, Mazzy's mowing through most everything with whatever shortbow you choose.

    It has nothing to do with the enchantment level. As @Lord_Tansheron mentions, enemies that require +4 ammo to hit are extremely rare, and as I mentioned in my last post, if you want to maximize damage with Gesen you're going to have arrows equipped, anyway.

    I'm just talking about raw damage output. If you're an Archer charname and your goal is to kill a Fire Giant as quickly as is humanly (or elvenly) possible, you should use Gesen over Tuigan. It boils down to Gesen's 1d8 damage bonus on every shot, highest of any bow/crossbow in the game except for Firetooth.

    (I'd also disagree on Mazzy mowing through stuff in late SoA / ToB. Effective archery relies on stacking damage bonuses per shot to make up for the fact that you aren't getting any sort of strength bonus like the melee attackers. She'll top out at around 70 damage per round with Tuigan or 80 damage per round with Gesen, which is pretty paltry compared to melee attackers at a similar point.)
    Pokota
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 439
    Huh... I thought regular projectiles overrode the Gesen electricity entirely in the EEs like they do with Firetooth.
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,146
    @SomeSort Daystar's max damage can only trigger against a specific group of enemies as well, while the Equalizer's will be possible against a wider range of enemies. So it balances out pretty well.

    On another note, I don't think I'm familiar with Blackmist.
    tbone1
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,058
    Pokota said:

    Huh... I thought regular projectiles overrode the Gesen electricity entirely in the EEs like they do with Firetooth.

    I can recommend Item Revisions for many reasons, but it stopping ammo on ammo-less launchers is one them :)
    PokotaMantis37Demivrgvs
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    Attacking that demon is a really hard fight that most skip. Which I always felt was a bit of irony with the effort to use things like Tactics and Oversight and such to make the game harder. Or I guess it's SCS primarily these days.
  • GallowglassGallowglass Member Posts: 3,356
    fateless said:

    Attacking that demon is a really hard fight that most skip.

    I remember taking him down (some while ago) with one or two Bolts of Glory and a barrage of Melf's Minute Meteors. He doesn't actually have very many HP, but the difficulty is that most physical weapons won't touch him.
    Attalus
  • AttalusAttalus Member Posts: 148

    fateless said:

    Attacking that demon is a really hard fight that most skip.

    I remember taking him down (some while ago) with one or two Bolts of Glory and a barrage of Melf's Minute Meteors. He doesn't actually have very many HP, but the difficulty is that most physical weapons won't touch him.
    Ah, Melf's Minute Meteors. If they ever nerf them, or Mordenkainnen's Sword, or Abu-Dalzim's HW, I will be in real trouble

    QuartzAndreaColomboAerakar
  • AttalusAttalus Member Posts: 148
    Okay, you guys, I just got out of the Underdark, had the Eq made and gave it to Mazzy (who now has two pips in Long Sword. We shall see.
    Aerakarelminster
  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330

    fateless said:

    Attacking that demon is a really hard fight that most skip.

    I remember taking him down (some while ago) with one or two Bolts of Glory and a barrage of Melf's Minute Meteors. He doesn't actually have very many HP, but the difficulty is that most physical weapons won't touch him.
    I want to say when I fought him last his adds were more dangerous than he was really. Though he hit hard and not everything hit him like you said. But I know I've taken him down a number of times.
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