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New to BG1

2

Comments

  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 60
    edited July 14
    It crazy how bad saves are in BG2. It's like every hit is a crit.

    Edit: Also, I'm already on chapter 4, and the Kivan/Archer was a great call. Even without a composite bow I'm mowing stuff down. Probably going to ditch Branwen for Faldorn. Druids are just to amazing in my book.

    I'm also thinking of replacing Xan with Edwin or maybe Baeloth. Any draw backs? Xan misses out on magic missiles, chromatic orb, web (which is a stun/hold rather than a root iirc in bg2) and fireball. I can't even cast from scroll (so no cloud kill). My understanding is specialist mages get a bonus when casting from their choosen school, -2 saves or something. Is that alone worth it to keep Xan all game?
    Post edited by Wrathofrecca on
    JarrakulUnderstandMouseMagicAerakartbone1
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 3,023
    All these people comparing weapons to Gesen and the most optimal launcher to use until then, and I'm just sitting here with Tansheron's bow so I don't have to manage ammunition ;)

    @Wrathofrecca "Druids are just to amazing in my book." Yes! Another believer! We are too few.

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 1,983
    @Grond0

    I don't quite agree with your math. Arrows +3 don't add their bonus to damage, but neither does Firetooth's base d8 damage stack with the base damage of the bolts (Gesen is unique in doing this, because of the unusual way its base damage works).

    I also tend to do the comparison with non-magical ammo (or a case/quiver of plenty), since that's what you end up using against most enemies. This is perhaps slightly unfair, since crossbows get kuo-toa bolts, but on the other hand bows get arrows of dispelling. Ultimately arrows vs. bolts are hard to compare, because of saving throws, non-damage effects, and relative scarcity. So I prefer to stick to the basic versions and evaluate the launchers on their own merits.

    Furthermore, Gesen has more attacks, and therefore benefits more from things like gauntlets of weapon expertise and increasing Archer levels.

    Finally, this doesn't come out in the numbers, but the unloaded Gesen deals melee piercing damage, which means it can hurt enemies that no other launcher weapon can. This is invaluable when your Archer runs into, say, a priest with Physical Mirror up.

    For anyone who's interesting in doing these comparisons themselves, I've made an excel spreadsheet so that you can see the expected damage/round of various ranged weapons. Just change the Level, Strength (modifier), and Gloves values at the top and watch the table change.
    AndreaColomboAerakar
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,241

    It crazy how bad saves are in BG2. It's like every hit is a crit.

    Edit: Also, I'm already on chapter 4, and the Kivan/Archer was a great call. Even without a composite bow I'm mowing stuff down. Probably going to ditch Branwen for Faldorn. Druids are just to amazing in my book.

    I'm also thinking of replacing Xan with Edwin or maybe Baeloth. Any draw backs? Xan misses out on magic missiles, chromatic orb, web (which is a stun/hold rather than a root iirc in bg2) and fireball. I can't even cast from scroll (so no cloud kill). My understanding is specialist mages get a bonus when casting from their choosen school, -2 saves or something. Is that alone worth it to keep Xan all game?

    Rule of thumb.

    Aways replace any mage with Edwin.

    Though Baeloth messes that rule up a bit, super powerful. So glad he doesn't appear in BG2, I can do without that level of decision making.
    Life is effing complicated enough as it is. :D
    AndreaColombotbone1Quartz
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,822
    edited July 14
    Jarrakul said:

    @Grond0

    I don't quite agree with your math. Arrows +3 don't add their bonus to damage, but neither does Firetooth's base d8 damage stack with the base damage of the bolts (Gesen is unique in doing this, because of the unusual way its base damage works).

    I also tend to do the comparison with non-magical ammo (or a case/quiver of plenty), since that's what you end up using against most enemies. This is perhaps slightly unfair, since crossbows get kuo-toa bolts, but on the other hand bows get arrows of dispelling. Ultimately arrows vs. bolts are hard to compare, because of saving throws, non-damage effects, and relative scarcity. So I prefer to stick to the basic versions and evaluate the launchers on their own merits.

    Furthermore, Gesen has more attacks, and therefore benefits more from things like gauntlets of weapon expertise and increasing Archer levels.

    @Jarrakul thanks for pointing out the error with the arrows +3. I was obviously in BG1 mode there (where bonuses to arrows apply to damage as well as THAC0) and will correct that (though if all shots are assumed to hit acid arrows do 3 extra damage on average anyway, so the overall figures don't change). In relation to launchers though Gesen is not unique in stacking base damage from ammunition - most if not all other launchers that can be used without ammunition stack damage in this way in unmodded BG2EE (though the damage is not correctly reported in the character record).

    I agree that comparing ammunition for bows and crossbows is difficult, but I think crossbows have the edge. A couple of sorts of crossbow ammunition that are not always thought of are Jan's Flasher Master Bruiser Mates (though only Jan or a high level thief can use these) and the ammunition for the Big Metal Rod. Try equipping the frag grenade to shoot with Firetooth and watch your enemies suffer (called shot on top then has an area effect to give extra pain) >:).

    I already mentioned in the post that Gesen comparatively benefits from buffs and that applies whether buffs are from spells or items - though the benefit only really lasts until GWWs are available to tear through opposition.
    Aerakar
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 60
    What's the value of arrow of ogre mage slaying? Only seen one so far and he went slat pretty quick. Is it flavor?
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    DreadKhan said:

    Well, depending on your build/gear, Strongarm is better than decent early game. Better accuracy and damage for 1 less apr can be a good trade early. Until you're firing nothing but magic arrows, if you cap at 2 pips, its not a problem to use longbows. I suppose its a problem that longbows never really improve on that, while shortbows get better.

    If you're an Archer its more one sided I suppose.

    Grond0 said:

    Jarrakul said:

    And seriously, it is worth emphasizing just how much better Gesen is than every other launcher weapon in the game (yes, even Firetooth and slings, at least for (kit) archers).

    @Jarrakul Gesen is great, but it's not clearly superior to other weapons. The following comparison assumes that enemies have no resistance to either electrical or missile damage and assumes a level 16 archer with grand mastery (specialisation in sling) and strength of 22 (fire giant strength girdle).

    Gesen damage per unloaded shot is 2 + 1-8 electrical + 5 + 5 = 13-20 or 16.5 on average.
    APR of base 2 + 1 for level 13 + 1 for GM = 4
    DPR = 66 (if all shots hit)
    {with acid arrows equipped does 1-6+1 + 1-3 acid + 2 + 1-8 electrical + 5 + 5 = 16-30 or 23 on average}

    Firetooth +5 damage per shot is 2 fire + 1-8+5 + 5 + 5 = 18-25 or 21.5 on average.
    APR of base 1 + 1 for level 13 + 1 for GM = 3
    DPR = 64.5
    {with bolts of lightning equipped does 2 fire + 1-8+5 + 1-8 + 2d4 electrical (assuming save made) + 5 + 5 = 21-41 or 31 on average}

    Everard sling +5 damage per shot is 1-4+2 + 5 + 2 + 10 = 20-23 or 21.5 on average.
    APR of base 1 + 1 for level 13 + 0.5 for specialisation = 2.5
    DPR = 53.75
    {with +4 bullets equipped does 1-4+2 + 1-4+5 + 5 + 2 + 10 = 26-32 or 29 on average}

    Whether ammunition is equipped or not Firetooth and Gesen are pretty similar in output for an archer at mid levels, though Everard lags behind. The APR advantage of Gesen does mean though it can benefit more from the use of buffs such as improved haste, called shot and chant. The analysis above though assumes that every shot will hit. In reality that's not the case which makes the other weapons more attractive. That's partly because critical misses reduce the APR advantage of Gesen directly. In addition the bonus to THAC0 is only +4 for Gesen, but +6 for Firetooth and +5 for Everard (the THAC0 adjustment from ammunition will also tend to benefit slings more), which will make a big difference when fighting tougher enemies.

    In terms of game timing both Firetooth and Everard are available far earlier (in the unmodded game) than Gesen (though Tuigan is a good substitute for shortbow users). Once HLAs are available GWWs mean that both Firetooth and Everard will comfortably out-perform Gesen even for an archer, thus there's actually a relatively small part of the game where Gesen would be the best weapon even for an archer that's regularly fully buffed.

    For non-archers the other weapons will generally be as good or better than Gesen throughout the game, but the main point is that even for archers there's no need to go for Gesen every time (daggers and axes are also viable alternatives for archers as well as the long bows discussed above and even darts can become competitive if lots of buffs are regularly used).
    For those interested, I made a comparison of top-tier ranged attackers at various points in BG2/ToB that addresses a lot of this.
    Aerakar
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761

    What's the value of arrow of ogre mage slaying? Only seen one so far and he went slat pretty quick. Is it flavor?

    There's one Ogre Mage who can really, really wreck your day, but yeah, for the most part it's just flavor.
    AerakarQuartz
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 761
    edited July 14
    Grond0 said:

    @Jarrakul thanks for pointing out the error with the arrows +3. I was obviously in BG1 mode there (where bonuses to arrows apply to damage as well as THAC0) and will correct that (though if all shots are assumed to hit acid arrows do 3 extra damage on average anyway, so the overall figures don't change). In relation to launchers though Gesen is not unique in stacking base damage from ammunition - most if not all other launchers that can be used without ammunition stack damage in this way in unmodded BG2EE (though the damage is not correctly reported in the character record).

    This is how things used to work, but I tested damage values for the comparison I linked to before and this is no longer the case. If you equip ammunition into weapons that are capable of generating their own ammunition, you no longer stack the base damages together. It's a sizable enough hit to drop Firetooth behind Gesen at all points unless Whirlwinding.

    Edit: and Crossbows definitely *do* have the edge in ammunition. Outside of the amazing-but-rare Arrows of Detonation and Arrows of Dispelling, magical arrows in BG2 are barely superior to just regular unenchanted arrows. Bolts of Lightning are by far the highest-damage ammunition type in the game, and crossbows also have more stunning bolts than you could shake a composite longbow at. Saves are generally high enough that each individual bolt is unlikely to stun, but given the sheer volume of bolts you're putting out, you're going to put a lot of enemies on ice.

    It's the main reason crossbows remain competitive with shortbows now that shortbows have taken the damage crown. Of course, this is also more a point in favor of the Light Crossbow of Speed than it is in favor of Firetooth.
    JarrakulAerakar
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,393
    SomeSort said:

    What's the value of arrow of ogre mage slaying? Only seen one so far and he went slat pretty quick. Is it flavor?

    There's one Ogre Mage who can really, really wreck your day, but yeah, for the most part it's just flavor.
    But only if you REALLY want that cool jar...
    Aerakar
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,822
    SomeSort said:

    Grond0 said:

    @Jarrakul thanks for pointing out the error with the arrows +3. I was obviously in BG1 mode there (where bonuses to arrows apply to damage as well as THAC0) and will correct that (though if all shots are assumed to hit acid arrows do 3 extra damage on average anyway, so the overall figures don't change). In relation to launchers though Gesen is not unique in stacking base damage from ammunition - most if not all other launchers that can be used without ammunition stack damage in this way in unmodded BG2EE (though the damage is not correctly reported in the character record).

    This is how things used to work, but I tested damage values for the comparison I linked to before and this is no longer the case. If you equip ammunition into weapons that are capable of generating their own ammunition, you no longer stack the base damages together. It's a sizable enough hit to drop Firetooth behind Gesen at all points unless Whirlwinding.
    @somesort if you're talking about unmodded BG2EE it is still the case, just as it used to be in vanilla BG2. As I posted before the character record notations for expected damage are not correct in lots of instances, so if you've relied on those your figures will not represent the actual damage done in the game.

    Take the following as examples. The first pair of screenshots show a level 8 archer with high mastery in crossbows firing Firetooth +4 without ammunition. The character record states damage will be 9-16, but if you look closely the total of separate damage expected on the record is actually 11-18 - and the screenshot of actual shots being fired shows this range of damage does occur.


    The second set of screenshots show the same character, but now with ordinary crossbow bolts equipped on top of Firetooth. The record now states 11-18 damage, which would be correct if base damage were not duplicated. However, you can see from the actual shots fired that damage is duplicated (I didn't bother lining up a screenshot showing the full range, but this was indeed the 12-26 I expected).

    ThacoBellAerakar
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 1,983
    @Grond0 You do appear to be correct. I'm finding the same thing on my install as well. Interesting. Well that changes quite a bit. I'll have to update my numbers.
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 60
    Is BG1 short? I'm already on chapter 5, tons of exp, and wondering if it's meant to be short.
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,241
    It's as long or short as you want it to be.

    Have you explored all the areas on the map, Durlags Tower and all the Ulgoth Beard quests?

    Have you been to Baldurs Gate city and done all the quests there?

    I don't think I have ever heard anybody describe BG or BG2 as "short" games.
    ThacoBellAerakartbone1
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 60
    Maybe it's just because BG2 front loads all the quests in chapter 2 and BG1 is a bit more obscure about it
    tbone1
  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 905
    Xan's gloomy personality alone is enough to take him along, it's hillarious.


    Also there is a mod to add him into BG2 in which you can change his class. I believe the options include Regular Mage and Wild Mage. I opted to make him a Fighter/Mage so I could get the most out of his +3 Moonblade.
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 60
    See he'd make a great enchantor/warrior because warrior/mage dual class don't really need to waste spells on evocation
  • AndreaColomboAndreaColombo Member Posts: 5,054
    Xan is very good at crowd control, IIRC. And he doesn't need Fireball because Skull Trap (and wands.)
    ThacoBell
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 921
    SomeSort said:

    What's the value of arrow of ogre mage slaying? Only seen one so far and he went slat pretty quick. Is it flavor?

    There's one Ogre Mage who can really, really wreck your day, but yeah, for the most part it's just flavor.
    Actually, I can think of five ...
    ThacoBell
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 60
    I dunno I made the switch to Baeloth and don't regret it. I know, it's probably cheating, but he's top five of the most powerful mages. I'm sure Xan could have done much with wands and skull traps. Oh well.
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,241

    I dunno I made the switch to Baeloth and don't regret it. I know, it's probably cheating, but he's top five of the most powerful mages. I'm sure Xan could have done much with wands and skull traps. Oh well.

    That's not cheating, far from it.
    You'll have much more fun. And he's another one you haven't had a chance to meet before in BG2.
    ThacoBell
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 60
    So I actually kept Branwen, silence 15 foot radius and hold person have turned out to be quite valuable, meanwhile druids get garbage at lvl 2 and 3. Might switch it up once lvl 7 is available. It's disturbing how many casters fail their saves.
    Aerakar
  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 905
    @Wrathofrecca
    If you are interested, there is also a Branwen NPC Mod for BG2 I recently installed. However I have no idea as to how extensive it actually is.
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 60
    I'm curious, I often use http://www.sorcerers.net/Games/BG2/Walkthrough2/SoA/SoA-index.php as an excellent resource guide for BG2, is there anything similar for BG1? So far I'm finding very limited results.
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 1,221

    I'm curious, I often use http://www.sorcerers.net/Games/BG2/Walkthrough2/SoA/SoA-index.php as an excellent resource guide for BG2, is there anything similar for BG1? So far I'm finding very limited results.

    http://www.gamebanshee.com/baldursgate/walkthrough.php
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 1,822
    edited July 16
    Dan Simpson's walkthroughs are old (and just text based), but well-written and comprehensive. For BG1 you might want to have a look at Dudleyville - now hosted at http://www.forgottenwars.com/
    AndreaColombotbone1Aerakar
  • FoxterFoxter Member Posts: 17
    SomeSort said:

    What's the value of arrow of ogre mage slaying? Only seen one so far and he went slat pretty quick. Is it flavor?

    There's one Ogre Mage who can really, really wreck your day, but yeah, for the most part it's just flavor.
    And for that mage, the Potion of Absorbtion and Detect Illusion sure come in handy. ;)
    Aerakar
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 60
    edited July 16
    Do arrows of ogre mage slaying work on said ogre?
  • WrathofreccaWrathofrecca Member Posts: 60
    Game Banshee is the layout I was looking for but unfortunately it has many broken item links.
  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 470
    Yes, I have had these arrows kill the ogre mage. But I recall they need to hit.

    Do arrows of ogre mage slaying work on said ogre?

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