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Weak NPCs in BG2 - Shadow of Amn?

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  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    @somesort that's actually not true.

    While it's not the greatest damage I will admit. The Priest of Helm actually gets 3apr when they use seeking sord as well as a +4 thaco and it hits as a +4 weapon.

    The priest of tyr gets an increasing thaco and damage bonus with the downfall is it's duration sadly but then it may have been too strong if it lasted longer (though I'm not so sure of that.)

    Also. If your willing to give your Clerics a couple of the Stronger weapons in the game that they can actually use. Such as the flail of Ages or Crom Faeyr. These things can practically double the damage they can do on that single swing when combined with some of their buffs. So just because you want to put these elsewhere. It does not mean that they can't equate to at least one more APR when built right.

    ThacoBell
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 98
    So rest spam until you land it?

    DreadKhansemiticgoddess
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    fateless said:

    @somesort that's actually not true.

    While it's not the greatest damage I will admit. The Priest of Helm actually gets 3apr when they use seeking sord as well as a +4 thaco and it hits as a +4 weapon.

    The priest of tyr gets an increasing thaco and damage bonus with the downfall is it's duration sadly but then it may have been too strong if it lasted longer (though I'm not so sure of that.)

    Also. If your willing to give your Clerics a couple of the Stronger weapons in the game that they can actually use. Such as the flail of Ages or Crom Faeyr. These things can practically double the damage they can do on that single swing when combined with some of their buffs. So just because you want to put these elsewhere. It does not mean that they can't equate to at least one more APR when built right.

    Seeking Sword gets +4 THACO and is +4 when determining what it can hit, but doesn't get any damage bonus, which means it deals 5 average damage per hit. If having 3 APR alone was enough to make a weapon great, more people would be singing the praises of darts.

    (In truth, with enough strength bonuses and buffs to boost damage per hit, Seeking Sword becomes credible in melee. The main problem is going through extensive buffing and trading your ability to cast spells for "credible" melee is a garbage trade.)

    Priest of Tyr's bonus caps out at +6 damage / +6 THACO, which is a solid boost, but woefully insufficient when you're still limited to 1 APR, regardless of the pathetic duration. Imagine if the Cleric got a spell that said "deal 6 damage per round for 2 rounds". How much use does that spell get?

    (Really the calculus is more complicated than that because the +6 THACO also means you're 30% more likely to hit with your weapon damage, so if you deal 15 damage per hit you're also getting another 4.5 damage per round from that. And also some of that +6 damage bonus will be lost to misses. But the larger point is that the damage bonus from Divine Favor looks tasty, but is wasted on a 1APR attacker.)

    It's true that Clerics can use some of the better weapons in the game. But the comparison isn't a Cleric with a top-tier weapon vs. a non-Cleric with a crap weapon. It's a Cleric with a top-tier weapon and 1 APR vs. a non-Cleric with a top-tier weapon and several APR.

    No class in the game struggles more to get beyond 1 APR than a pure Cleric. Even a mage can deal more damage in melee than a non-Priest of Lathander or Priest of Helm cleric, now that Fire Tooth grants its APR bonus in melee mode, too.

    (Of course, the Cleric truly excels at *tanking*, which is another aspect of melee combat. They can't deliver damage for the life of them, but they can sure take a hit like a champ.)

    Skatan
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859

    So rest spam until you land it?

    Pretty much. There's also Devas and Energy Blades, provided you're high-enough level. Finger of Death can work on the SoA dragons, too.

  • fatelessfateless Member Posts: 330
    SomeSort said:



    It's true that Clerics can use some of the better weapons in the game. But the comparison isn't a Cleric with a top-tier weapon vs. a non-Cleric with a crap weapon. It's a Cleric with a top-tier weapon and 1 APR vs. a non-Cleric with a top-tier weapon and several APR.


    (Of course, the Cleric truly excels at *tanking*, which is another aspect of melee combat. They can't deliver damage for the life of them, but they can sure take a hit like a champ.)

    See. I'm not comparing a top tier weapon cleric against a crap weapon anything else. That's your folly. The increases can be equal or slightly more for the entire party to put that top tier weapon in a clerics hands. (Along with some of it's tankability) and the next level weapon below that or a different variety weapon into the hands of that fighter of some kind your probably having in mind.

    ThacoBell
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    fateless said:

    See. I'm not comparing a top tier weapon cleric against a crap weapon anything else. That's your folly. The increases can be equal or slightly more for the entire party to put that top tier weapon in a clerics hands. (Along with some of it's tankability) and the next level weapon below that or a different variety weapon into the hands of that fighter of some kind your probably having in mind.

    I'm comparing the melee output of Clerics vs. other classes. Saying "giving them a good weapon doubles their damage output" is irrelevant to that comparison, because it compares the melee output of a Cleric vs. an inferiorly-geared Cleric.

    If your goal is maximizing melee damage output, you're never best-served by giving your best weapon to a Cleric and dooming it to one swing per round, while giving an inferior weapon to your fighters and their 3+ APR rates.

    Now, if you already are flush with top-tier weapons on all of your fighters and you have some left over, giving them to the cleric is a good idea. But the same is true of, say, thieves or druids or bards. So again, not useful for the purposes of comparison.

    Compared to the other classes, the non-Priest of Lathander Cleric has the worst physical damage output of anyone except the Mage/Sorcerer, and even that is debatable. (The mage, after all, can use Fire Tooth + Improved Haste to hit 4 APR, and Tenser's solves all of their THACO woes, albeit at the cost of their spellcasting. And this ignores stuff like Time Stop and Shapechange and Black Blade of Disaster.)

    Skatan
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,070
    As a front-line combatant, singleclass clerics just aren't in the same league as ranger/clerics or half-orc fighter/clerics. This isn't to say singleclass clerics are useless in a healing/buffing role, though even then, they only have 7 spell levels so it's worth asking whether you want your buffer to be a singleclass cleric or a multi cleric/mage or even cleric/thief.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,267
    Why are people still hung up on DPS? Clerics are about tanking! DPS is FAR the only, or even, the most important consideration.

    tbone1Sunder
  • SouplesseSouplesse Member Posts: 131
    If you want DPS and Tanking, you can play a cheaty cleric of lathander/ranger half/elf. 25 strength, 10Apr, top tier weapons, armor of faith, iron skin. Yes this is too much.

    ThacoBell
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    Do you know what I use Anomen for?
    The undead.

    At lower lebels dealing with the vampire ambushes and where you meet hoards of undead is a pain with the level draining. So I have Anomen wandering aound scaring them off when too low a level to blow them up, and later wandering around blowing them up.

    Consequently on this run I'm currently playing, Anomen has the highest amount of kills after charname by quite a margin. And I did a portion of the game solo, got Edwin and Viconia before Anomen ect.

    Do I care whether he gets one attack/round?
    No, because blowing up every vampire/undead/lich is equivalent to having infinite attacks/round and every one being a "vorpal" hit.

    And skelton warriors, I rarely use anything else and yet Edwin can summon a bunch of swords.

    The drawback of romancing Anomen is not that he's annoying, it's Bodhi nicking him before you go after her in chapter 6. And then having to go through that dungeon when you haven't bothered hitting a vampire for chapters. That's an eye opener, it's like "WTF, now what do I do, oh yeah, suppose I have to do this the hard way".

    ThacoBell
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    I think the biggest drawback is how annoying he is. ;) ymmv though!

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,267
    You don't even have to be cheaty about it, a Ranger/Cleric is is basically unkillable DPS.

  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    ThacoBell said:

    Why are people still hung up on DPS? Clerics are about tanking! DPS is FAR the only, or even, the most important consideration.

    Tanking is absolute king in BG1, which is when Clerics rule the roost. But my claim is that Clerics are the worst class in the game *AT HIGH LEVELS*. And in order to tank at high levels, you either need ridiculous levels of AC that are pretty much only achievable by Swashbucklers and Blades, or else you need major damage-mitigation spells that are only available to mages and druids. Or, alternately, you can output damage quickly enough that you wipe out enemies before they can deal that much to you. Think: Fighter with Greater Whirlwind or Thief with Spike Trap.

    Clerics can't do any of this. They can't get their AC low enough to avoid frequent hits. They can't prevent incoming damage entirely. They can reduce it with Armor of Faith and Defender of Easthaven, but (a) that kills their damage output even more, and (b) a 45% reduction is pretty meager compared to the 80% of a Barbarian, 85% of a Paladin/Ranger, or 90% of a Dwarven Defender.

    They can't kill enemies quickly enough to avoid taking a lot of hits. In terms of melee capabilities at high levels, all they can really do is serve as a solid-HP distraction while the fighters, mages, thieves, druids, and bards do their jobs.

    I mean, if you want to argue that Clerics are amazing at low-to-mid levels, I'm right there with you. Their power curve up to level 15 or so is phenomenal. I've argued in the past that one of the advantages of the Cleric>Mage multi is you can play as a pureclass cleric in BG1, because pureclass clerics are amazing in BG1. Full Plate + shields + helmets + DUHM + Command + Silence + Hold = game-wrecker.

    The real problem is that once you hit level 15, there's not a whole lot on the horizon to look forward to. Devas and Energy Blades, sure. That Holy Symbol is nice enough, I guess. But it's no Spike Trap, Use Any Item, Greater Whirlwind, Hardiness, Time Stop, etc. Clerics kind of stand in place while all the rest of the classes zoom past them.

    (As always, Priest of Lathander stands out as an exception among pureclass Clerics because of the ability to instantly stack on extra APR, doubling or tripling damage output.)

    Artona
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    Souplesse said:

    If you want DPS and Tanking, you can play a cheaty cleric of lathander/ranger half/elf. 25 strength, 10Apr, top tier weapons, armor of faith, iron skin. Yes this is too much.

    Adding any fighter or ranger multi to the Cleric solves all of the Cleric's biggest problems.

    Stuck at 1 APR? Not anymore-- suddenly you have a base of 2.5, 3.5 if dual-wielding, 4.5 with Boon of Lathander.

    Taking too much damage late-game? Adding Hardiness to your Defender of Easthaven / Armor of Faith stack takes you to 85% damage resistance, meaning you can take nearly four times as many hits as a pureclass Cleric. (Plus Iron Skins if you edit the game to restore druid spells to the multi.)

    Nothing but Devas to really look forward to after level 15? Not anymore, as you can now grab more Greater Whirlwinds and Hardinesses than you could shake a stick at.

    F/C and R/C multis are awesome. All of the benefits of the cleric at low levels, all of the benefits of the fighter at high levels.

    Skatan
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,267
    @SomeSort Oh no, Clerics get less damage reduction than 3 kits in the whole game. Clearly this makes them the worst class for tanking at high levels.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Also generally less defenses than arcane casters (bard, sorc, wiz) and druids, which leaves thieves I think, and swashbucklers can get good AC late game.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    DreadKhan said:

    I think the biggest drawback is how annoying he is. ;) ymmv though!

    I'm a very tolerant person................actually that's complete bollox.

    It's just when I see those nasty level draining things being reduced to dog food sized chunks I think to myself, "just how annoying is he, I can always switch to autopilot and mutter yes or no at appropriate times without even listening".

    Pretty much what all women do anyway after the initial first few years if they have something better to do or think about.

    AndreaColomboDreadKhantbone1
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859

    DreadKhan said:

    I think the biggest drawback is how annoying he is. ;) ymmv though!

    I'm a very tolerant person................actually that's complete bollox.

    It's just when I see those nasty level draining things being reduced to dog food sized chunks I think to myself, "just how annoying is he, I can always switch to autopilot and mutter yes or no at appropriate times without even listening".

    Pretty much what all women do anyway after the initial first few years if they have something better to do or think about.
    That sounds like a fairly exploitive relationship model you know, in which women are emotionally manipulating the honest and straightforward men. Not entirely healthy, but even running female PCs I hated him at first glance and skipped him. When I finally tested him out, I still hated him. If I could have, I'd have had an alternative relationship with Aerie. ;)

  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 98
    So I relearned something I had forgotten, the game is coded so whenever a character reaches 3million exp, they begin learning heroic abilities on level up. This means a dual class gets access to an ability every time one of their classes levels up. If this is true for tri-class then that makes a mage/thief/warrior a potential god. I've always heard amazing things about it, I've just never tried it out.

    For me this greatly shifts Jan and Aerie way, way higher on the value list. I still hate Aerie because she's a 1 shot squishball magnet but Jan is becoming a powerhouse.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 1,070
    edited July 2017
    I assume you mean multiclass characters gain access, which is true and makes f/m/t characters even more amazing than they already were. On the other side of the coin, the old kensai-dualed-to-thief and berserker-dualed-to-mage standbys lose some of their luster since they are blocked from using HLAs like whirlwind attack.

    Post edited by jsaving on
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    DreadKhan said:

    DreadKhan said:

    I think the biggest drawback is how annoying he is. ;) ymmv though!

    I'm a very tolerant person................actually that's complete bollox.

    It's just when I see those nasty level draining things being reduced to dog food sized chunks I think to myself, "just how annoying is he, I can always switch to autopilot and mutter yes or no at appropriate times without even listening".

    Pretty much what all women do anyway after the initial first few years if they have something better to do or think about.
    That sounds like a fairly exploitive relationship model you know, in which women are emotionally manipulating the honest and straightforward men. Not entirely healthy, but even running female PCs I hated him at first glance and skipped him. When I finally tested him out, I still hated him. If I could have, I'd have had an alternative relationship with Aerie. ;)
    Exploitative how so?
    The guy is good at blowing up dead things but at the same time can bore for England sometimes.
    So it's a compromise, it's what people do, enjoy the good and tolerate the bad.

    And in return, in the game scenario, Anomen may adore female charname but she just so happens to be the offspring of an evil God. So I dare say Anomen would do his fair share of operating on autopilot when that becomes an issue. Because at that point the "adoration" would dip somewhat.

    You think every person adores everything about their partner? Now that would be unhealthy, bordering on worship.

    tbone1
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    ThacoBell said:

    @SomeSort Oh no, Clerics get less damage reduction than 3 kits in the whole game. Clearly this makes them the worst class for tanking at high levels.

    I'm glad this doesn't misrepresent my entire post by picking out one tiny detail and pretending I didn't say any of the other stuff at all. Because that would be arguing in bad faith.

    Also, it's not just three kits. Clerics get noticeably less damage reduction than Fighters, Berserkers, Kensai, Wizardslayers, Inquisitors, Beastmasters, Shadowdancers, and Shaman, (all of whom can hit 60+%). Additionally, they get *MUCH* less damage reduction than Barbarians, Paladins, Cavaliers, Undead Hunters, Rangers, Stalkers, Archers, and Dwarven Defenders, (all of whom can hit 80+%). That's 16 kits, which is more than three. Plus Jan Jansen isn't a kit, but he can match the Cleric's 45% damage reduction.

    Additionally, they get much worse AC than Blades and Swashbucklers, and they don't get Stoneskin/Ironskins like Druids, Avengers, Totemic Druids, Shapeshifters, Mages, Conjurers, Diviners, Enchanters, Illusionists, Invokers, Necromancers, Transmuters, Sorcerers, Dragon Disciples, Wild Mages, Bards, Jesters, Skalds, or Blades. That's 21 more kits, though in fairness, Blades were listed twice.

    And also almost all of those classes and kits are capable of killing enemies really quickly in Throne of Bhaal, and killing enemies before they can hit you is a form of damage mitigation.

    ArtonaSkatan
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859

    So I relearned something I had forgotten, the game is coded so whenever a character reaches 3million exp, they begin learning heroic abilities on level up. This means a dual class gets access to an ability every time one of their classes levels up. If this is true for tri-class then that makes a mage/thief/warrior a potential god. I've always heard amazing things about it, I've just never tried it out.

    For me this greatly shifts Jan and Aerie way, way higher on the value list. I still hate Aerie because she's a 1 shot squishball magnet but Jan is becoming a powerhouse.

    Yes, multiclass characters get access to HLAs at 3m experience regardless of what level they are.

    No, this doesn't really help tri-classes, because one of those three classes is mage, and you can't get mage HLAs until you're level 18... which tri-class characters won't hit without modding the game to remove the XP cap. Even two-class multi mages don't get mage HLAs until they have 6m EXP, which is near the end of the game in a party of six.

    Also, single-class, two-class multi, and three-class multi characters all earn HLAs at about the same rate. Thieves get a new HLA every 220k XP, clerics get one every 225k, fighters get one every 250k, mages get one every 375k, and multiclasses earn them at a rate equal to the average of all of their classes. So a mage/thief can only take thief HLAs until near the end of the game and averages a new HLA for every 297.5k XP, while a pure-class thief gets the same HLA choices but gains a new one every 220k XP.

    This is really useful for Cleric multiclasses, though, because Clerics have the worst HLA pool in the game, so this lets them use some of their choices on vastly superior fighter or thief HLAs.

    Skatan
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,032
    SomeSort said:

    No, this doesn't really help tri-classes, because one of those three classes is mage, and you can't get mage HLAs until you're level 18... which tri-class characters won't hit without modding the game to remove the XP cap. Even two-class multi mages don't get mage HLAs until they have 6m EXP, which is near the end of the game in a party of six.

    The limitation on HLAs is because mage HLAs are generally cast as level 9 spells (though mods can change this) and you thus don't get access to those HLAs until you can cast level 9 (which is never for an unmodded triple class). The exceptions are that the mage HLAs for extra level 6, level 7 and level 8 spells are available to triple class characters.

    DreadKhanThacoBell
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,347
    edited July 2017
    ThacoBell said:

    @Skatan you're comparing Minsc to pureclass fighters though. Fighters are better able to specialize in weapons so in using 1 or 2 weapons, yes they will get more dps. Minsc is a generalist, he gets more weapons to be good at cost of making any one weapon amazing, he is adaptable. If you want say Korgan or Mazzy to have that same adaptablility in using a variety of weapons, they lose their advantage over MInsc. In this scenario Minsc is probably stronger because of the few divine spells he can use to buff himself.

    I am following the thread's purpose, which is to rank NPC vs NPC. This means Minsc is compared to other NPC's who would for me compete to the same slot in a party, and that is fighter-types. Like I mentioned, whatever Minsc can do, some other NPC can do better (except Wilson).

    Do you REALLY rank Minsc better than Korgan, Mazzy, Dorn, Keldorn, Valygar or even Jaheira, Anomen or whoever else are frequently used in the front? This is BG2 after all and whatever Minsc can do and whatever Minsc can wear, someone else can do it better. Arguing that he is "versatile" when it only means he is less effective is IMHO pointless since you can put in three, four more weapon categories to specialization with Korgan if it's versatility you want. And no matter the few spells he gets, he's stuck a low caster level making ie AoF rather weak and even so berzerker rage outshines all that. But so does ie Dorn's blackguard abilities, Jaheira's buffs etc. Mazzy loses out if we are comparing versatility since her spells are rather meagre, but she does get saving throws and that's always a nice boon.

    I'm not saying Minsc is weak, I am saying he's the weakest fighter class in BG2 ('cept Wilson).
    ThacoBell said:


    As for Yoshimo, well, single class thieves are amazing. They just require more thinking ahead and micro. Traps outright trump most encounters in the game, and their utility is only rivaled by multiclasses and bards. In general I would say that the more micro an NPC requires, the powerful they are.

    Traps are great, but you need to scout ahead to be able to use them effectively or trap cheese around blue targets etc. I often do the former, but never the latter. But whatever a thief can do, a mage can do better; scouting, trapping (skulls) etc. And abusing rest to refresh skills is not really something I do, so I'd much rather have another mage/warrior/divine than a thief if we're talking about pure effectiveness and strength.

    Edit: Btw, again I am not saying thieves are weak. I am saying Yoshi is the comparably least strong NPC of the game.

    And in general I would say that the more effective (faster kills/higher survivability rate) an NPC has, the more powerful they are. This is a combo of raw killing power (APR, dmg, pips), HP, saving throws and buffs and special abilities.

    ArtonaSomeSort
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,996


    Pretty much what all women do anyway after the initial first few years if they have something better to do or think about.

    Not just women; I could introduce you to more than one couple where it's obvious that the husband is in that role.

    UnderstandMouseMagic
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,996


    The guy is good at blowing up dead things but at the same time can bore for England sometimes..

    Have a Like for the Evelyn Waugh reference

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,147
    tbone1 said:


    The guy is good at blowing up dead things but at the same time can bore for England sometimes..

    Have a Like for the Evelyn Waugh reference

    Embarrassed to admit I have never heard that reference, just thought it was a common saying, do "something" for England.

    But I'll take the like nonetheless. :)

    tbone1
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    I never even suggested/hinted that couples should like everything about each other, I said they should be paying attention to the thoughts/feelings of their significant other. Heck, I don't think I said they had to like eachother at all, just that they shouldn't be exploitive of one another.

    Assuming your significant other isn't mentally ill, it shouldn't be too taxing to simply be attentive. I would say with an ill spouse it is very possible to go overboard, but while Anomen is annoying, and a font of character flaws, he isn't ill.

    ThacoBell
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    Skatan said:

    Traps are great, but you need to scout ahead to be able to use them effectively or trap cheese around blue targets etc. I often do the former, but never the latter. But whatever a thief can do, a mage can do better; scouting, trapping (skulls) etc. And abusing rest to refresh skills is not really something I do, so I'd much rather have another mage/warrior/divine than a thief if we're talking about pure effectiveness and strength.

    Edit: Btw, again I am not saying thieves are weak. I am saying Yoshi is the comparably least strong NPC of the game.

    And in general I would say that the more effective (faster kills/higher survivability rate) an NPC has, the more powerful they are. This is a combo of raw killing power (APR, dmg, pips), HP, saving throws and buffs and special abilities.

    Mages can't scout better than thieves because they can't deal with traps. Mages can't trap better than thieves because they can't abuse blue circles, and all of their traps are subject to resistance. Try trapping Kangaxx or Demogorgon sometime.

    Also, "mages do it better" doesn't really mean much, anyway, since mages do almost everything better than almost everyone. If you're really going to go all-in on something, trap cheese is the most powerful thing in the game outside of arcane magic. (But it's also boring, repetitive, and cheesy as hell.)

    And even if we want to acknowledge the primacy of arcane magic... the second-best arcane caster in the game is a Thief with Vhailor's Helm, Use Any Item, and a well-stocked scroll case.

    And even if we want to ignore pure cheese applications... Fighters are one of the stronger classes in the game, too, and Yoshimo is capable of dual-classing to a Fighter. You can basically turn him into Mazzy with better proficiencies and thief skills instead of pseudo-paladin spells.

    Seriously, Yoshi and Mazzy have the same Dex/Con/Cha scores, Yoshi's 13 INT/10 Wis is better than Mazzy's 10 INT/13 Wis because Mind Flayers, and Yoshi has better strength (which doesn't matter because belts). Mazzy gets better HP and shorty saves, (OP!), but Yoshi frees up an extra party spot and can get his proficiencies dual-wield ready a lot faster.

    Mazzy is great. Fighter Yoshimo is comparable. All-in-all he's a fantastic NPC who can be developed a number of ways and whose biggest weakness is just that you never get the chance.

    ThacoBell
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