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Shields: are they worth it?

Hi guys, i'm going to play a full run with this party (Conjurer, Mazzy, Anomen, Jaheira, Haer'Dalis and Jan). My concern is if going Anomen and Jaheira 2w fighting is ok or is better keep them s&s style. I know that AC is not important too expecially in ToB but do you think i can completely avoid using shields?

Comments

  • PaulaMigratePaulaMigrate Member Posts: 1,021
    Yes,
    It is completely up to you, there is not a single point in the game where you cannot get on just because you have no shield. There are so many ways to equip that party and the rest is up to your tactics and skills.
    I have played the game from beginning to end many times and I never depended on a specific NPC or a specific weapon or spell or whatever. It's just other and newer challenges each time.

    ThacoBellAerakarDurenas
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 1,822
    use shields?
    anomen: yes, until around tob
    jaheira: absolutely not

    semiticgodAerakarStummvonBordwehr
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 421
    edited June 23
    You can definitely avoid shields, but I don't think Anomen and Jaheira make great dual wielders if only because it takes them such a long time to get enough points in the style. For Anomen, I believe you're looking at level 16 before he can get 2 points in Two Weapon Style (TWS), and then he'll be dual-wielding maces (with 2 points in maces). If you're planning to use hammers for him you'll need another point in hammers at level 12 cleric and then TWS points at levels 16 and 20, so he won't be dual-wielding until at least late SOA. For Jaheira, unless you're happy dual-wielding clubs, you'll need to spend her level 9 (fighter) point on scimitars and then the level 12 and 15 points on TWS. So, because of her multi-class exp. point division, it's going to take her until really late SOA or TOB to become an effective dual-wielder. And this assumes you're happy dual-wielding with 2 points in the style, and not 3.

    jsavingrecklessheart
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 1,822
    edited June 23
    dual wielding clubs is just fine so jaheira is a great dual-wielder.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 1,822
    she can tank abazigal with that. such overkill!

    tbone1
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    bob_veng said:

    dual wielding clubs is just fine so jaheira is a great dual-wielder.

    Or better, put a club in the mainhand and Belm in the offhand. Offhand weapon proficiency points aren't super-important, and you can get by with just one point for a while.

    Aerakar
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    lunar said:

    I like my Jaheira tanky, with full plate, an ac helm, protection+2 item, appropriate defensive girdle, and a heavily enchanted shield with +4 ac bonus, plus her natural dexterity, AND iron skins on top of that, she can tank most mid level enemies (trolls, umber hulks, vampires, etc.) forever.

    This is also true, though. Jaz is a fantastic tank. I usually give her the Lum Dexterity boost just to bring her to a natural 18, too.

    tbone1Aerakar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,833
    Shields are really good, I always have one character with one for my main tanking purposes. AC gets less important going into ToB, so you can switch something else out, or find a shield with useful additional effects.

    ZaghoulAerakarOrlonKronsteen
  • FregasegaFregasega Member Posts: 35
    Of course especially in the beginning and until I have at least ** pips in 2wf I'm going to use shields but once gained them I'd like to set the chars like this

    Mazzy 2h weapons (spears, halberds)
    Anomen dual wield (maces/flails/hammers)
    Jaheira clubs/scimitar with belm
    Haerdalis dual wield long/short/bastard swords
    Jan using staves/daggers

  • bigdawg2137bigdawg2137 Member Posts: 3
    The shield fighting style is totaly broken and the AC bonus is laughable. Considering there are 3 weapons giving you bonus APR and some give you other protections (like Adjata) there is no incentive to play using shields.

    There is only a handful of useful shields that provide serious protections. I don't know how BG2 shield system compares to PnP but BEAMDOG should've rebalance this. Shame they didn't.

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 483
    edited July 30
    If you were playing through the full trilogy, I'd suggest taking Khalid and Jaheira, giving Khalid all the shield skill, and then having him wade in against the endless army of archers you're facing in BG1. That way you get all your anti-Archer stuff without burning pips on Charname (though it has the side-effect of Khalid never really getting good with his weapons, but Khalid is better at tanking in BG1 than fighting anyway...). I'm less familiar with BG2 and ToB so I can't give a recommendation for that.

    If you're just playing BG2+ToB, then it's up to you.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 187
    There are some very solid defensive shields in BG2, especially the reflective shields when fighting beholders. The problem is that the defensive strength you gain from higher DPS -- reducing incoming attacks by culling enemies faster -- will generally outweigh the defensive strength you gain from using a shield. Because of this, I'd advise two-weapon fighting over using a shield, at least once you're able to put two stars in two-weapon fighting (which may take a while with Anomen and Jaheira).

    Because BG2 has warriors make almost all their attacks with their main-hand weapon instead of splitting them evenly with the off-hand weapon, you can split the difference here to some degree and equip off-hand weapons that offer some defensive bonuses or immunities, such as the various weapons that give immunity to confusion/hold/charm. This is why you sometimes see people using otherwise subpar weapons like the Equalizer in their off-hands. I do that with one character, swapping it for the Shield of Balduran when fighting beholders.

    Shikaosemiticgod
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 753
    My experience is that further you go in the game, the less relevant AC is - you get high level protection, Hardiness, and lots of offensive abilities that allow you to defeat enemy before he does any serious damage (and still, you have healing magic and said defences to mitigate that).
    The only shield that really shines for me is Shield of Balduran, but it's very situational - there is not much need of it expect beholder hunting.
    With that said, I think you should have enough proficiency points to start with shields (in the big part of SoA AC still matters), and then switch do dual-wielding.

  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,349
    Artona said:

    My experience is that further you go in the game, the less relevant AC is - you get high level protection, Hardiness, and lots of offensive abilities that allow you to defeat enemy before he does any serious damage (and still, you have healing magic and said defences to mitigate that).
    The only shield that really shines for me is Shield of Balduran, but it's very situational - there is not much need of it expect beholder hunting.
    With that said, I think you should have enough proficiency points to start with shields (in the big part of SoA AC still matters), and then switch do dual-wielding.

    This is true, but I wouldn't ditch AC so easily in ToB. Yes, a -8 AC will tank about as much as a -15AC, but if you go beyond that (-~30 effective AC against the enemy that you're fighting for example) AC is still reliable. Most of the time it will take a bit of pre-buffing to reach that, but not necessarily if you use shields (A ToB shield's -5AC, not to neglect). Alternatively, Soul Reaver lowers the enemy THAC0 by a lot. Combined with good AC and smart focus you may quickly render an enemy unable to damage you except on a crit (which is more or less equivalent to 90-95% damage reduction). But Soul Reaver's two handed so that's kinda off topic

    Artona
  • ArtonaArtona Member Posts: 753
    I never even got close to -30 AC, so you probably know much better about a game that I do :smiley: .
    Still, my preferred tactic in ToB is to overwhelm enemy with GWWs. In SCS Abazigal Lair you encounter
    4 dragons at once
    and it's not hard to kill them before they manage to seriously hurt anyone.
    But yea, lowering enemy's THAC0 + very low AC makes sense.

  • recklessheartrecklessheart Member Posts: 656
    @OrlonKronsteen has covered this pretty well. I have never done it, but it sounds like it would take a while and neglecting some early optimisations in order to pay off. Still, I'm sure it is possible. Perhaps more feasible for Anomen than Jaheira as Clerics level up faster than she does and he has some flattering attributes for melee combat.

    If anyone ought to have a shield, I think it's Jaheira and/or Viconia. They are the best tanks in the game, I'm rather certain. Jaheira can still do a fair fraction of the damage with one weapon, but her equipment in tandem with Defensive Harmony and Ironskins is major. Viconia will not kill very much of anything, but her huge Dexterity, magic resistance, and defensive spells make her unreasonably difficult to kill from day 1.

    OrlonKronsteen
  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 937
    Pick one:
    Either dual wield or use a shield. It makes little difference. One delivers more damage, but the other is more defensive. Invest early on in whichever style you decide to use.

    ThacoBellAerakarsemiticgod
  • LucasIDKn8LucasIDKn8 Member Posts: 17
    The Shield of Balduran also known as the shield of cheese is quite useful when fighting Beholders. :p
    http://baldursgate.wikia.com/wiki/Shield_of_Balduran

    Balrog99Aerakarsemiticgod
  • darkmoon500darkmoon500 Member Posts: 25
    Shields can add a huge bonus to your a/c, means the difference between life and death

  • mf2112mf2112 Member, Moderator Posts: 1,919
    I generally use shields with side benefits, plus in BG2 with (G)WW usage, dual wielding doesn't help.

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 477
    Certain shields - e.g. harmony, reflection- can be very useful for Charname, especially when doing SCS/ Ascension / no-reloading. If you have a choice between improving charname's defences by 1% or damage output by 10% then the former is usually better. Of course some offhand weapons can also give useful bonuses, but you don't actually need to be proficient with them to get immunities, resistances etc.

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