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Durlag Tower Rant

VolatileVolatile Member Posts: 16
Hi. Some of you may remember me from a couple weeks back when I asked for a bit of help navigating Durlag's Tower. I'm playing BG for the very first time, no spoilers or walkthrough, and until Durlag's place, everything was running smoothly.

/rant on: I HATE DURLAG'S TOWER. The story is alright - the tragedy is kinda sad -, the namesake dwarf and his family are interesting characters to investigate, the upper levels were great too, but then.... the lower catacombs or whatever you call it.... it... it... sucks.... SERIOUSLY, it sucks monkey balls. It took me FOREVER to get through some of the fights, and don't even get me started on the convoluted level design that made it a pain to position my party strategically. The puzzles are either too simple or bat shit crazy frustrating. I am planning on replaying BG 1 EE soon after I'm done with my paladin (who I intend to take all the way through BG 2 EE, in spite of the fact I regret rolling a human paladin), and I already dread the thought of doing this again. Arghh. /rant off.

TL;DR: Durlag's Tower almost made me punch my screen.

EDIT: Oh, and I was VERY tempted by Islanne's ghost offer to get me out of that place. VERY.
Noobacca
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Comments

  • ZaramMaldovarZaramMaldovar Member Posts: 882
    @Volatile
    You seem a bit on the edge. Yes, Durlag's Tower is frustrating but it's meant to be, it sets up the first part of the what is supposed to be the FINAL challenge of Tales of the Sword Coast (don't worry the 2nd part is much less tedious) though if Durlag's Tower frustrates you, just avoid it the 2nd time around, there is plenty of other stuff to do in BG1 and now that SOD is a thing you can even gain a few extra levels before starting BG2.

    Watcher's Keep is similarly high level dungeon but the puzzles there are less complicated and the story is better. Durlag's Tower is by far the nightmare fuel of the Baldur's Gate saga but that's why I love it.


    Still not as hard to me as Chapter 8 of Throne of Bhaal though....damn Fire Giants.
    NoobaccaAerakar
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 315
    Will second the thoughts on fire giants.

    I've always loved Durlag's tower purely because it is hard. It's one of the main reasons I wait a few months before replaying after each go around with bg1 - purely so that I'll forget some of the stuff and get a little taste of the initial joy of finally beating it.
    NoobaccaThacoBellAerakar
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,294
    Imho, Firewine done from the bridge entrance is the most frustrating/infuriating thing in BG1... I never, ever do this after doing it exactly once. Frankly, the other TotSC quest is less fun and FAR less rewarding, but I would certainly do it once. If you do go on the other quest, leave a save from before the big journey.

    Durlag's is a bit too challenging for a new player sometimes, but its got a really cool story. So does Firewine, but its so godawful a dungeon (I swear to God thst place is 100% a mean joke) that no story is worth it. If you have any weaknesses at all as a player, and almost all new players have lots, Durlag's Tower will probably exploit them. I certainly don't always do Durlag's (it somehow slipped the mind of my solo Jester on his way to cheese Sarevok), and you should get damn close if not past the xp cap w/out Durlags if you do everything else.

    If you ARE thinking of trying it again, it'll feel more fun and less tedious if you know what to expect imho.
    NoobaccaAerakarCalmar
  • VolatileVolatile Member Posts: 16
    Maybe Durlga's will feel better next time. For a first timer, it was infuriating. @DreadKhan mentioned Firewine Bridge: I took the "secret entrance" in the halfling village, so not sure what it's like coming from the bridge yet.

    Durlag's Tower was really really tough. I can enumerate some of the reasons:
    1. Not knowing the counter to some spells / illnesses / misc effects. I still don't know how to counter nausea.
    2. Lots LOTS of tough fights in sequence. Luckly I'd been hoarding potions and scrolls, but resources were scarce, so camping after each fight wasn't an option.
    3. Lots LOTS of great loot that I had to leave behind.
    4. Puzzles don't always make sense. After you've done it a few times, it might all seem too easy, but for me it meant pixel hunting.
    5. That HORRIBLE fight at the very end.
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 1,144
    IMHO, Durlag's Tower is the best dungeon ever made in a CRPG.

    And I'm not the only one who thinks so.
    UnderstandMouseMagicMathsorcererThacoBellAerakar
  • ShikaoShikao Member Posts: 279
    If you worry about leaving great loot behind, then take Islanne's offer, sell what you have now, go back and pick up what you left earlier. There is no penalty for that.

    As for human paladin, I feel your pain as paladin is one of my favourite classes. That's why I run with mods allowing any race become any class =] After couple playthroughs it nicely refreshes party creation options =D
  • QuartzQuartz Member Posts: 3,703
    Interesting to see the variety of opinions on Durlag's Tower. For me personally, it's probably my favorite area in BG1 – for its playstyle, story, and level design. I enjoy taking a level 5-6 party in there especially, makes for a hell of a challenge.

    And for the first time ever, about a month back I took a group through near level cap on insane difficulty, which was also challenging!
    UnderstandMouseMagicThacoBellAerakar
  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 494
    edited July 25
    First time is pretty much like walking on broken glass, but I quite enjoy it on replays nowadays.

    The post demon knight event with the cult is a bit forced though...
    DreadKhanAerakarQuartz
  • dibdib Member Posts: 377
    I usually go through it to the last level and then just let the ghost teleport me back to the surface. It's pretty fun up to the last level which is just too big, imo. It's not that I find it difficult, just tedious, too much running back and forth all over the place. And I've usually hit the XP cap (or at least come close to it) by then, so meh.
    Noobacca
  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 494
    I love level 3 with the wyverns, elemental challenges and the garden with all the invisible creatures.
    Quartz
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 2,818
    Oh man, Durkag's tower is easily he best dungeon in any video game for me.
    UnderstandMouseMagicbatoorAerakarQuartz
  • WarChiefZekeWarChiefZeke Member Posts: 571
    I've played Baldurs Gate for years and only recently fully completed Durlags Tower and post demon knight events. Those god-forsaken traps...
    VolatileZaramMaldovarAerakarQuartz
  • VolatileVolatile Member Posts: 16
    @subtledoctor Werewolf Island at least had a pretty cool ending. I was surprised to see Dradeel again - after cursing him for leaving us as soon as I'd returned his spellbook -, and the lycanthropes we had helped were all trying to help us with directions to the secret cave exit, plus I enjoyed the "desperate" flight sequence (my party did slaughter every single werewolf on their way, tho).
    ThacoBellAerakar
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 1,676
    DreadKhan said:

    Imho, Firewine done from the bridge entrance is the most frustrating/infuriating thing in BG1... I never, ever do this after doing it exactly once. Frankly, the other TotSC quest is less fun and FAR less rewarding, but I would certainly do it once. If you do go on the other quest, leave a save from before the big journey.

    firewine is okay with 2-2-2 formation and careful rotation/positioning with party AI and ranged weapons. can be done in a short time, esp. with haste.

    Aerakar
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 1,144
    DreadKhan said:

    bob_veng said:

    DreadKhan said:

    Imho, Firewine done from the bridge entrance is the most frustrating/infuriating thing in BG1... I never, ever do this after doing it exactly once. Frankly, the other TotSC quest is less fun and FAR less rewarding, but I would certainly do it once. If you do go on the other quest, leave a save from before the big journey.

    firewine is okay with 2-2-2 formation and careful rotation/positioning with party AI and ranged weapons. can be done in a short time, esp. with haste.

    ...none of which is likely known to a first-timer, who likely hasn't hit 3rd level spells, let alone has a haste scroll. *ahem* my real point was thats its chock-full of VERY nasty traps, kobold commandos able to deal nasty critical hits, and essentially nothing of value you can't just get from the Gullykin entrance more safely and easily.

    Its nasty and pointless, even xp-wise.
    Agree. I'll mod a nice item and put in there.
  • webspyderwebspyder Member Posts: 27
    Keeping in mind first time players who wouldn't realize that Durlag's Tower is much higher level content than anything else around it, I really feel like it should not even be accessible on the map until after you visit Ulgoth's Beard.
    batoor
  • webspyderwebspyder Member Posts: 27
    Volatile said:


    Lots LOTS of great loot that I had to leave behind.
    Um... why? There's a vendor right outside. Carry stuff out, sell, go back in. Rinse, repeat.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 1,385

    I've played Baldurs Gate for years and only recently fully completed Durlags Tower and post demon knight events. Those god-forsaken traps...

    It also took me many years to finally beat it. In the mean time I had been playing Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal. When I first encountered the Fission Slime in Durlag's Tower, I recognized it from the Elminster's Ecologies book from Throne of Bhaal, so I knew how to defeat it!
    ShikaoRaduzielAerakar
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 315
    Well the two guards outside of Durlag's and their friends ought to be warning enough that it's going to be tough. But some people I guess are content to reload until they finally don't get stomped by them and end up going in for a dungeon far beyond their capabilities. Otherwise it should be patently obvious that it's late game/aspirational content.


    Firewine is nasty for a veteran, but the first time in it was great because they do have a fairly decent build up to it when you talk to people around Beregost and drink for rumors. Not to mention when you walk around the Firewine area. But once its lost its magic it's a bit of a slog, but it's not that long of one.

    Funny thing is, having played this game a TON as a kid, I always remembered Ulcaster being longer than it actually is :(
    Aerakartbone1Arctodus
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,083
    Durlag's tower is end-game content, designed for characters of a level to take out the end-of-game boss at the original (pre-expansion) levels. It signals how hard it will be in several ways, and it is typical of the difficulty curve of the era that if you ignore such warnings you will die, repeatedly, and often. Come back when ready.

    Even for max-level party, Durlag's is tough until you have some real player-experience under you belt. It does get easier over time, as you get familiar with the tricks of the trade. I would encourage the OP to give it another go once they have played the game a few more times, and they will be surprised at how different it feels. It may still feel hard, but not unreasonably so.
    ThacoBellAerakar
  • VolatileVolatile Member Posts: 16
    To clarify: my party was almost to the experience cap when I decided it was time to venture inside. So yeah, it was tough even with a full party of level 8-9 characters.

    One more thing that is not so cool about Durlag's Tower: the DEMONKNIGHT fight was so hard, yet the loot is crappy. One worthless magic helmet (maybe it could be of some use if I was planning to take one of the evil NPCs with my paladin, but it's not the case), one lousy shield +1 (there's far better in the tower itself), one dagger for a quest, and one low-level magic scroll.

    I was expecting some armor, maybe a great sword. Nope. 15k exp and crappy loot.
    DreadKhan
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,294
    edited July 26

    You should be walking out of the tower with the best loot in the game though.

    I dunno, its got some phat loot, but as good as the Helm and Cloak? They're good into ToB imho. Staffspear backstabs nicely, same w/staff of striking, but what do you think are the best few items from Durlag's treasurey?
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,145
    DreadKhan said:

    You should be walking out of the tower with the best loot in the game though.

    I dunno, its got some phat loot, but as good as the Helm and Cloak? They're good into ToB imho. Staffspear backstabs nicely, same w/staff of striking, but what do you think are the best few items from Durlag's treasurey?
    Practical Defense Armour
    The Burning Earth Sword (especially if you plan the go to Balduran's Isle)
    The big two handed sword(at the chess board)

    Plus money. money, money, who doesn't want money?
    ThacoBellArctodus
  • VolatileVolatile Member Posts: 16
    @UnderstandMouseMagic oh gold stopped being an issue long before I delved into Durlag's. After clearing out the tower and catacombs - and selling most of the stuff -, I am at ~250k gold.

    Do I get to keep the gold in BG2?
    DreadKhan
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