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Effective leveling strategy for the party, my way.

gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,858
some considerations before we start.

-even if i like to play with 3 or 4 people parties, i find it the sweet spot between soloing and full party, 3 is my perfect number as i like to micromanage, i recognize that the initial advantage of leveling faster in end game is lost, as in end game even in a 6 people party they are well developed and the number makes the difference.
-full parties level up very slow and some well known tactics, like learning and erasing scrolls, if are effective for dualing minimizing the dual time, are not effective for boosting the level of a large party, there are not enough scrolls. other sources of free experience, like abusing of exploits or turning to stone and back to flash foe to get multiple times the xp will not be considered in this topic, i am talking here only of making the best use of the xp normally available in the games, as i play bg2 in that game, but for the others it works somehow the same.
-not all the classes need the same amount of xp to be effective, multi are the ones that need it more, some other class will benefit of fast leveling, like cleric to make explode undeads or sorcerer to be able to cast high level spells when a regular mage don't have even access to the scrolls to learn them. plain fighter types imo need it less and duals, if done at the right level, tipically 7 or 9 in bg2 either.
-xp comes in 2 ways, for the kills, and less people is in the party the more each one gain from it, and for the quests, and here the more the better.

putting together those considerations the logic powergaming choice of a strategy imo is obvious, but as i did not read of it anywere, probably is not so.
the goals are
1- to maximize the number of people in the party when quest rewards are given
2- to make it the smallest possible when the xp from the kills has to be shared, having in the party the characters that need more xp to be well developed
3- to play the first part of the game with few people in the party, better alone, to speed up the leveling of charname, until he reaches the ideal level that allows to recruit npcs at their maximum possible level. this is not relevant for custom parties but makes an huge difference playing with npcs.

so the most effective way is to have a carname that needs experience, sorcerer or multi, also 3 classes type.
tell imoen to find her way out of chateau irenicus alone and solo the full dungeon, never going near minsk and jaheira to avoid triggering their dialogue. when the dungeon is cleared and charname is ready to go out of it he finds M and J, frees them from the cages so everybody can exit and gain the quest xp.
then he can drop them or keep them depending on his needs. jaheira can be dropped only once but being multi is one that benefits of getting more xp then others. same aerie if you romance her, but the romances with single classes and anomen should be avoided from this PG perspective.

then charname continues alone or maybe with an helper until the ideal level that allows to recruit at the maximum possible level is reached. at this point he recruits a full party.
from that moment to the end he drops and recruits them multiple times to have few of them sharing the kill xp and the whole party as some quest reward is given. this can be done in sinergy with the game, in a quest where many undeads are found, or even in a single phase of a quest, like a certain room in firkraag dungeon, he can have a cleric to turn and use negative plane protection, and so on. more helpers can be recruited for the boss battles if needed, while the other battles in between are less challenging so only the few that need more xp can be present. this mean for some quests and for the whole asylum-underdark to recruit everyone to go to the next area or get a quest reward and drop them as they are not needed. for other quests you can leave some party members at copper coronet or wherever you like them and optionally delay quest rewards just as you do for fast dualing.

as the xp for the quests is a good percentage of the total xp in the end even those that have participated less to the battles in the end will have some levels, while who needs more xp will grow at a the same rate of a 3 people party being in a 6 people one.
to be more precise we need to know the exact composition of a party, but as you get the principles you can easily adapt them to the particular situation.

let's make an example
1 charname fmt
2 aerie (charname' romance)
3 keldorn
4 mazzi
5 haer dalis
6 neera
1 and 2 are always present and as multi they gain from it, charname cause has 3 classes to rise, the whiny one cause the earlier she can mix arcane and divine in triggers and CC the better it is. she is also the divine caster so to have her growing at the rate of a 3 people party make her turn undeads effectively and all the rest.
3 and 4 are fighters and somehow are interchangeable, you can take the pally when mage fights are there and mazzi when a good ranged fighter is useful, for some quests you can go without them as a fmt and to some extent aerie can hold the front line, even more being overleveled for the phase of the game. the blade if present in that situations help them.
5 it depends on the use you want from him, you can focus more on him and have him more present or regard him as the 6th of the group and give him little more than the quests xp (minsk, anomen and vaigar can cover the same role) and in tob maybe will be dropped to make place to sarewok.
6 is the main caster and as a wild mage needs some caution, as the more she levels the more she is able to cast without the risk of a sourge, probably she needs to level up faster in the beginning but as she begins to be very strong each level more is less game changing, let's say from the moment she has a couple of lev 9 spells. at that point you can have her less frequently in the party, as 1, 2 and 5 if present cover the arcane casting quite well.
in the end you have charname leveling at 2/3 of a single class and aerie at the rate of a single class, neera leveling slower than a single class but fast until she reaches a good level of power, a couple of fully operational fighter types (after a certain number of levels they reach the better thaco that is what really matters in that party that have plenty of arcane and divine power to substitute GWW with IH and gate better helpers than keldorn's deva. and haer dalis as 6th with a level enough high to be useful at almost 0 cost or a better level without nerfing too much the growth of the others as you prefer.

i know that the party of my example is not a perfect PG party, and i have chosen it so on purpose, the system works with every party. with a custom PG party works even better.
you will have a fmt and a cm that grow really fast so they reach good power level much earlier than having always 6 people in the party, a main caster that reaches good levels quite fast (don't forget that with the initial strategy every npc is recruited early, but at a relatively high level, and this more than compensates the fact that later she looses some of the kills xp). and you have 2 fully operational fighters, maybe under leveled than keeping them all the time in the party, but everybody benefit from the recruiting boost, and an other helper that can be useful as can tank, can help casting and somehow can also fight effectively. the overall efficiency in each phase of the game is superior to the one having everybody always present in the party and sharing all the kills xp.
you will level slower than in a 3 people party but for every difficult battle and in end game for all the battles you will have 6 peoples ready, so much more apr, 5 casters, the main one potentially the best caster of the game as she begins to use dwehomers (that casted from a clone imho are much less riskier as some bad happenings happen to the PI) and 5 able to be in the front line (or be a ranged hurricane in the case of mazzi) and be effective there. don't forget that haer dalis can tank like the betters while equipped with 2 +1apr weapons and aerie and her simulacrum shapeshifted into golem, werewolf or mind flyer, with clerical buffs on top can be more deadly than most of the fighters. she will be ready for that and for the other high level cm combos fast as a single class grows normally, not only for the few final battles of tob.
it is not like having a 6 people party leveling at the rate of a 3 people one, that would be impossible, but it gets really close.

suggestions and comments are welcome. and i hope that it is useful as i never read something similar so i doubt that other people than me uses a similar leveling strategy.
comments from a PG perspective, please, as i know that rp wise the whole thing stinks bad but this is a PG topic...



  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,869
    The concept is good but I have more questions on a practical level...

    How do you actually experience the running around with half a party and going back to pick up characters left early in the dungeon or elsewhere in faerun just to get some extra XP?
    Does it require a lot of time or do you not mind that it takes some walking around? Does it get annoying after a while?
    And what about having to reequip them so often, because I can imagine some nice gear is shared around to suit the encounters?

  • But why would you want to go to such lengths to do this? Most party compositions can beat the game if you have even the slightest idea what you're doing, and there is more than enough XP in the game to level your dudes up all the way without resorting to these tactics. If you want the XP so badly that you're prepared to do all of the above to get it, why not just console or EEkeeper the XP in?

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 2,858
    edited January 2018

    But why would you want to go to such lengths to do this? Most party compositions can beat the game if you have.... If you want the XP so badly that you're prepared to do all of the above to get it, why not just console or EEkeeper the XP in?

    there have been many and many treads on the forums about the most damaging weapons, the choice between different builds or charname class, the best ranged, the best backstabber and on and over. all based on a PG concept. "should i chose RC or FD?" not for rp reasons but reasons based only on PG, as for druids and rangers some weapons are prevented and so on.
    this tread is based on the same reasons of those others.
    also not everybody plays the same game, a normal vanilla is very different from an insane or LoB hard modded game, some of us play no reload. and some of us are interested in PG, in using the most effective weapons, the most effective npcs or custom parties, some of us spend hours rolling the best stats, when you can easily beat the game with a sub par charname.
    some others are not interested in it, myself am only partially interested and not in every run i have PG is on top of my priorities. If someone is not interested this tread is not for him, like other treads dealing with the RP side are not for powergamers.

    About the difference in use console to cheat in XP and make the best possible use of the one you normally find in the game i think that is self evident, the first is artificially altering the conditions the developers created making the game more easy, the latter is optimizing inside the given conditions. like cheating in a modded OP weapon or looking which of the existing weapons is more effective according to charname class, party composition and so on.
    lroumen said:

    The concept is good but I have more questions on a practical level...

    How do you actually experience the running around with half a party and going back to pick up characters left early in the dungeon or elsewhere in faerun just to get some extra XP?

    let's make an example, based on the most problematic part of SoA, pirate island, asylum and underdark, where you have to move from area to area without being allowed to come back or go to town.
    when you talk to the one that triggers the chapter, let's assume is the shadow thief, all the party is there as a reward is given. so all the party get to the island. then the not needed for that phase are dropped telling them "wait there, i need you later". then the most of the island part is done, without triggering the rewards, they are recruited again and the dialogues that trigger the rewards are done, so the whole party can move to the asylum and from there to the maze. there again they are dropped, foe is killed, they are recruited, rewards are taken, maybe some minor foe is left, but for very few xp there is no sense in dropping them, and the party moves to second level. here the same happens. you pass the trials and get again to asylum to fight with the boss, optionally you can drop some of them and fight or not, then you go to isle again, more xp then going straight to underdark, you get to the shark men town, having the whole party in the moments that trigger rewards and only a part of it for the killing part and finally you get to underdark.
    here again they should be all in the party only when a real paying reward is given, and if you have some minor fights and the party complete there is no difference, is important that when you kill the foe that matters, that bring xp, only who need it is there, and when you get the rewards that matter all the party is there, i would say that the reward part is more important as loosing there is loosing for the less developed, sharing some kills that ideally should no shared does not nerf much who is already better developed.

    you see that in the end is exactly like running a full party in a regular way, with the only difference that using the knowledge of the game, at some moments the ones you want to get less xp, according to your own strategy, are dropped in specific places and recruited back to transition between areas or take quest rewards. in many cases is possible to delay some rewards and take all together in a single area to minimize the time you recruit. just for simplicity, npcs don't care how much time you drop them as long as are not jaheira or your romance.

    in a whole run lasting hours is only few minutes, maybe less than half an hour, to drop and recruit and a minimum of planning and knowing when and where each quest reward is given and which event or dialogue triggers it. some people spend way more time rolling super stats for charname, my strategy is way more effective for the party efficiency ( an aerie that at the beginning of tob has the levels she would have in the end is way more effective than a charname with that 18.00 str that will be overridden as soon you find the first str belt).

    my strategy is very little time consuming, simple and straight as long as you have a clear idea of who, given a party composition, needs more or less xp in a particular phase. then, as in chap 2 you can chose the quest order you like, you do first the quests where the people that need first xp is more useful, you want to develop mazzi, do a quest where an archer is useful, you want to push on neera, go where her spells can change the situation. Other parts of the bg saga and other games give you less freedom, but as you travel with the whole party and drop them only for the fights there is no real difference.

    EDIT: as soon as you get a single pair of boots of speed, even before if you don't mind to use few haste spells, the whole thing is even faster. as the whole party will always be in an area, recruited or not, only charname needs to run where the party members are left, recruit them then run to the one who gives a triggering dialogue, as long as you leave them in a strategic situation, in others is not possible, like in the druid grove area, as you can live some of them at the beginning but then, cleared the area, you must run to them and take them back, but you have to wait that they reach the "active" ones at their slow pace on the other side to avoid triggering the "you must gather..." dialogue. but as the area is cleared, and is the worst place i can think about as is a long corridor area, is just click and wait a couple of minutes, as you maybe drink a coffe, a beer or make a short wc pause :)

    Post edited by gorgonzola on
  • lroumenlroumen Member Posts: 1,869
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