Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has been released! Visit nwn.beamdog.com to make an order. NWN:EE FAQ is available.
Soundtracks for BG:EE, SoD, BG2:EE, IWD:EE, PST:EE are now available in the Beamdog store.
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

How do y’all handle beholders without the shield of Balduran?

13

Comments

  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    HenryNY said:

    To answer the OP question completely, one has to point out not just how to avoid, but also how to face and survive, beholder attacks. There is absolutely no need to debate on that. If you don’t know a complete answer, either offer a partial answer or just leave it to others.

    I mean... no. To answer the question "how do y’all handle beholders without the shield of Balduran?", one has only to explain how he or she handles beholders without the shield of Balduran. That's literally all that is required to answer the question in total.

    If the question was "what's every single way to handle beholders without the shield of Balduran?", or "how do y'all handle beholders without the shield of Balduran and also without actually avoiding their attacks?", then sure, more detail would be necessary for an answer to be considered complete.

    ThacoBellthe_sextein
  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42


    The thread would be even better, if less time was spent pointing out perceived flaws in other posters argumentation, and more time was spent posting what works for you - we play the game differently, so maybe more the one tactic works?

    Yeah, that's the attitude I had wished for. Had everyone done that way, we'd have a lot better chance to learn new things about beholders and how to fight them effectively.

    Unfortunately, frivolous arguments do exist (e.g. intentionally interpreting eating a bullet as the same thing as dodging a bullet, intentionally interpreting SCS making beholder encounters less unfair to players as the same thing as making such encounters easier (SCS makes no attempt to make the game easier, which is just commonsense)...

    Pseudo "arguments" based on toying with words only offer garbage info. And finger-pointing others as "hypocritical" due to differences in opinions is plain rude.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,580
    HenryNY said:


    The thread would be even better, if less time was spent pointing out perceived flaws in other posters argumentation, and more time was spent posting what works for you - we play the game differently, so maybe more the one tactic works?

    Yeah, that's the attitude I had wished for. Had everyone done that way, we'd have a lot better chance to learn new things about beholders and how to fight them effectively.

    Unfortunately, frivolous arguments do exist (e.g. intentionally interpreting eating a bullet as the same thing as dodging a bullet, intentionally interpreting SCS making beholder encounters less unfair to players as the same thing as making such encounters easier (SCS makes no attempt to make the game easier, which is just commonsense)...

    Pseudo "arguments" based on toying with words only offer garbage info. And finger-pointing others as "hypocritical" due to differences in opinions is plain rude.

    Hi pot! Have you seen the kettle?

    the_sextein
  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42
    edited May 19
    Neverused said:

    Another way that I used recently due to a certain mod giving beholders Evasion... Mustard Jelly form from Polymorph:self is a 100% counter to a beholder. Sadly, you're stuck with Mage thac0 unless you're a f/m, so taking down even a single one at Near Death with Nalia was a painful experience. Like three minutes of just watching her whiff against the thing's pathetic AC.

    Nice to know that!!

    I had recently started thinking in this direction too. My current party consists of 6 arcane magic users, including Nalia. I'll try it out - under my permadeath rule that if PC gets killed, or if any NPC is dead beyond resurrection, the game is over (similar to no-reload, but slightly different, it's identical to Diablo's Hardcore mode).

    If more players offer such insights, this thread may survive a beating, potentially benefiting new/veteran players later. Otherwise, due to frivolous arguments, the thread probably has been beaten dead, sadly.

  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 304
    I wasnt saying, that I didnt like the discussion. I just hope that we all do our best to make this forum work, so a good discussion dont end up in bickering... The above was minded at everybody - including me.

    So please carry on discussing “how to kill beholders”.

    Beholders are and should be formidable opponents. Timestop and timetraps - if not mentioned all ready - deserves an honorable mention. When soloing 3 million XP is possible before facing the first floating hemorrhoid and
    Vithal has a timestop scrol as I recall
    Great for F/T and F->M

    the_sextein
  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 504
    edited May 19


    The thread would be even better, if less time was spent pointing out perceived flaws in other posters argumentation, and more time was spent posting what works for you - we play the game differently, so maybe more the one tactic works?

    HenryNY said:


    Yeah, that's the attitude I had wished for. Had everyone done that way, we'd have a lot better chance to learn new things about beholders and how to fight them effectively.

    Unfortunately, frivolous arguments do exist (e.g. intentionally interpreting eating a bullet as the same thing as dodging a bullet, intentionally interpreting SCS making beholder encounters less unfair to players as the same thing as making such encounters easier (SCS makes no attempt to make the game easier, which is just commonsense)...

    Pseudo "arguments" based on toying with words only offer garbage info. And finger-pointing others as "hypocritical" due to differences in opinions is plain rude.

    If more players offer such insights, this thread may survive a beating, potentially benefiting new/veteran players later. Otherwise, due to frivolous arguments, the thread probably has been beaten dead, sadly.


    ...

    ThacoBellsubtledoctor
  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 504
    edited May 20
    My reasoning for bringing up SCS in the first place was to distinguish the difference between to the two for two reasons.

    1. If Klorax is using SCS then we can give tips that work specifically for the way he is playing the game. SCS has multiple options that each SCS user will setup differently so it's important to know.
    2. If Klorax is not using SCS then users of SCS will need to be mindful that more efficient tactics are available for recommendation that are not possible in their current game setup. That way SCS users do not limit their suggestions to the limitations of their game but keep in mind what is possible in the Vanilla game.

    The things that come to mind:

    GREATER CALLS FOR HELP: This option will cause enemies to alert all nearby enemies when seeing your party. This can cause multiple groups to attack at the same time. This will cause your summons to be overrun faster and it will make it harder for your party to keep front line fighters alive because of the extra DPS the enemy will have.


    4 DIFFERANT AI OPTIONS FOR BEHOLDERS: that control how the Beholder AI works and uses it's abilities. Tactics version will cause many beholders to spot the real threat and ignore your summons. They will rush your party and it will make traditional long range tactics very hard.

    STEALING THE CLOAK OF MIRRORIING AND SOB: The cloak of mirroring was included in the original BG2 release and was meant to help a single fighter hold a beholder at bay if it managed to get around your summons. Since the cloak was available in the underwater city and that was not a mandatory story related area the SOB was included in the largest market place in a mandatory area at the last minute before launch via disc. (this was available on launch day to people who purchased the game. It was patched in officially by Bioware for all users within six months of the games launch in time for TOB) People began using both the shield and the cloak with advanced buffs to steam role beholders and thus, ruining the inteneded long range tactics for beholders. Many thought this was cheezy so tactics mods removed the shield and cloak. SCS did at first but now it allows beholders to steal them both off your character. This will hurt your ability to fight up close in small battles and force you to use the long range tactics in large ones.

    Note: with the improved AI option and the beholder stealing option enabled it hurts your ability to do long range and up close battle. This makes hit and run tactics important if both options are being used.

    IMPROVED BEHOLDER HIVE OPTION: This option adds more beholders to the hive and a hive mother is added in.

    ALTERED SPELL CASTING: They won't have some of the troublesome spells from vanilla which can be considered a nerf that will help your party. However, their tactics are more varied and harder to predict and they do utilize spells that will give you a headache. The 4 AI options will allow the game to use pen and paper, original game or tactics version. Each version of the game will have specific tactics tailored toward them.

    This is made worse if you play on insane because they are doing double damage and it's even worse on LOB because the HP will then be tripled and +80HP will be added on. This makes it very hard.

    It was never my intention to imply anything judgmental towards players that use the vanilla rules. It occurred to me when tactics involving sequencers and chain contingencies were being used with projected image and I realized those tactics would not work on my game. I thought it would be important for users to clarify what settings they are using their tactics on so we know what will work for us and what won't. Most importantly it would inform OP in a way that would make it easier for him to sort through all the tactics and determine what would be best for him.

    Most users on here are advanced users with a bunch of strategic knowledge. Most of us would not recommend melee battle on SCS or vanilla if you are NOT using the SOB. The only tip I can give to help users who want to fight an entire nest of beholders in melee would be to change the difficulty to story mode so you don't die. This mode will allow you to survive a solo, no reload challenge with a mage that doesn't sleep or to beat dragons to death with unarmed, unarmored fighters. Pretty much "magic Mode" that will accommodate all "tactics".

    EDIT: Updated a mistake regarding improved beholders.

    Post edited by the_sextein on
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,048
    A bit of a side-track, if people don't mind. I recently made a mod that brings IWD-style Spell Evasion over to BGEE/BG2EE, and has an option to let thieves evade more spells (including Magic Missile, and a bunch of magical trap projectiles).

    It occurred to me while reading this thread that beholder's rays are kind of shot at their victims like projectiles, and maybe thieves should be able to evade them as well. I'm curious if the participants in this thread have an opinion. If so please feel free to discuss it over here.

    StummvonBordwehrthe_sexteinlolien
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 4,826
    This is surely an interesting topic, but it also brings up an interesting subject, which is why items like this are put into these games. It usually isn't a mistake. I learned this is Dark Souls, where items useful to beating a boss are almost always near that boss. Point being, the developers of Baldur's Gate absolutely MEANT for the Shield of Balduran to be used to fight enemies like Beholders, just like the expectation is to use a Protection from Petrification spell or scroll is supposed to be used to fight basilisks. Of course it is fun to find other ways to do these things, but it also isn't remotely "cheesing" the game to use it. It may seem that way on your 10th or 20th run through the game, but to be honest, on a first play-through, figuring out you can use the shield to fight Beholders safely is probably a divine revelation.

    ThacoBelldunbarsemiticgod
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 345

    This is surely an interesting topic, but it also brings up an interesting subject, which is why items like this are put into these games. It usually isn't a mistake. I learned this is Dark Souls, where items useful to beating a boss are almost always near that boss. Point being, the developers of Baldur's Gate absolutely MEANT for the Shield of Balduran to be used to fight enemies like Beholders, just like the expectation is to use a Protection from Petrification spell or scroll is supposed to be used to fight basilisks. Of course it is fun to find other ways to do these things, but it also isn't remotely "cheesing" the game to use it. It may seem that way on your 10th or 20th run through the game, but to be honest, on a first play-through, figuring out you can use the shield to fight Beholders safely is probably a divine revelation.

    I agree with your general point, but you need to remember the Shield of Balduran is actually from a special merchant added much later than the original release of the vanilla game, if i was to guess it was precisely because beforehand there wasn't a "cheese" item for beholder killing, at least not one that you could get before leaving for Underdark.

    It's also nice to have the choice, anyone that finds it too cheesy can simply not use it, or install mods like SCS that have beholders smart enough to either steal the shield or not kill themselves via reflected powers and instead switch to melee.

  • the_sexteinthe_sextein Member Posts: 504
    edited May 23
    I agree, the SOB is no different than using a scroll of magic protection against the demi lich. The SOB was created for the purpose of keeping beholder rays from effecting you. It makes it a little more obvious what it is used for. A scroll of magic protection can be used on anything and you only have so many of them so it feels like smart playing rather than playing as intended. In the end they are very similar though.

    I used the SOB my first few times through the game. I didn't stop using it because I thought it was cheezy or anything. Overtime I increased the difficulty in game and through mods to the point where it didn't really do much for me anymore. So now I don't bother to waste the gold on it.

    At first I would send in the character with SOB along with a bunch of summons and let the rest of my party take long range shots. Then I started using summons, web and gas to kill them and I would use the character with SOB to hold off any stragglers that got around my summons. Now I hide my party and use hit and run tactics without the SOB. The first time I played on SCS and they stole my cloak and shield I knew my old tactics had to go. It wasn't until LOB mode that I decided to use hit and run tactics. They have so many HP and SCS adds more of them....it just gets too crazy to hold them at bay. I still use my party in direct combat against the drow, mindflayers and the last two groups of beholders at the bottom corners of the map in the underdark hive.

    Grond0lolien
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,048

    the developers of Baldur's Gate absolutely MEANT for the Shield of Balduran to be used to fight enemies like Beholders, [ => ] isn't remotely "cheesing" the game to use it.

    This logic doesn't hold water. The suggestion that the SoB is a boring and cheesy device is precisely a critique of the design choices made by the devs themselves.

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 689
    I never use the Shield of Balduran in its original form... but reading this thread has now given me the unfortunate thought that I probably shouldn't be slaughtering all those basilisks with Kivan and a potion of mirrored eyes any more either... It would be better if the basilisks at least had a poison bite/ breath (as in mythology)...

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 689
    Oh really? Much good it's done them then :D. Creature design is kind of hard now I think about it this way, especially when they're in isolation. Mutamin dispelling protection from petrification makes them somewhat more dangerous!

  • TarnfaraTarnfara Member Posts: 4
    Hello, excuse me, I'm not a veteran and might add redundant information.

    It's just, I have finished BG2 for the first time and really had troubles with Beholders and only Beholders on SCS (full install). I never bought the shield of balduran.

    @berserk: My PC is a berserker, so I learned the hard way, that beserk doesn't protect you from petrification and while one can buff the save with for example Neeras belt and the special amulet quite nicely, it just isn't safe enough.

    @buffs: Antimagic ray just renders any strategy reliant on buffs useless.

    1: The first couple of times, I used the level 15 undead summons that are pretty much untouchable to beholders while carefully adding ranged damage in the form of cloudkills, much like some else explained earlier. This will obviously not work in a tiny room, where the SCS beholders immediately switch targets.

    2: As I hadn't played BG2 before, I had no metagame knowledge, thus using a stealthy character with cloak of non-detection to scout of the area became a staple. I learned this way, that beholders aside from the Hive Mother can't really deal with invisibility.

    3: Eventually I got so annoyed by the randomness of fights against Beholders, I ended up in cheese. And this would be my suggestion to the tiny-room question:
    - Use potion of invisibility.
    - Run out of sight
    - Use mislead and hide your image.
    - Go back and kill beholders.






    Grond0
  • SomeSortSomeSort Member Posts: 859
    Grond0 said:

    The greater basilisk does have a poison bite. It also has a high weapon speed making it pretty dangerous in melee - as many of my characters have found over time.

    BG1 provides players with the basilisk equivalent of the Shield of Balduran, though: Korax the Ghoul.

    lolien
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,048
    edited May 29
    SomeSort said:

    Grond0 said:

    The greater basilisk does have a poison bite. It also has a high weapon speed making it pretty dangerous in melee - as many of my characters have found over time.

    BG1 provides players with the basilisk equivalent of the Shield of Balduran, though: Korax the Ghoul.
    In my current modded install, something is stopping me from controlling Korax, and my Potions of Mirrored Eyes only last about 5 rounds. And I only have 4 of them! Makes that map much more tense! :smiley:

    lolien
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 345
    I will add that my most recent run had some surprisingly successful uses of Horror, they don't have particularly great saving throws so when you throw a casting on a group there's a good chance more than half will be taken out the fight.

    StummvonBordwehrlolien
  • tbone1tbone1 Member Posts: 1,910
    Protection from Petrification is an under appreciated spell. Just sayin'.

    ThacoBell
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,048
    tbone1 said:

    Protection from Petrification is an under appreciated spell. Just sayin'.

    SR removes it from the game. :open_mouth:

    semiticgod
  • AnonymousHeroAnonymousHero Member Posts: 86
    edited May 29
    Tarnfara said:

    Hello, excuse me, I'm not a veteran and might add redundant information.

    It's just, I have finished BG2 for the first time and really had troubles with Beholders and only Beholders on SCS (full install). I never bought the shield of balduran.

    @berserk: My PC is a berserker, so I learned the hard way, that beserk doesn't protect you from petrification and while one can buff the save with for example Neeras belt and the special amulet quite nicely, it just isn't safe enough.

    @buffs: Antimagic ray just renders any strategy reliant on buffs useless.

    [...elided...]

    Yeah, I kind of feel that the SoB really actually doesn't change that much about most of the Beholder fights. Sure, it makes them trivial, but so does even mediocre tactical play. There are quite a few options that carryliterally no risk except actually physically fumbing at keyboard.

    (SoB does change the fights with Hive Mothers (+) quite a bit.)

    Having never played actual (A)D&D, I get the feeling that Beholders are just that type of enemy that requires a bit of judgement and leeway be a DM to avoid a) completely steamrolling the party, or b) being completely trivial. (The Beholder in Fish Central was an amusing reference to this, I think...)

  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42
    edited May 31
    My very first playthough of entire BG2 (I played SOA a little bit before I bought TOB) was done with a solo sorcerer on Insane difficultly. No meta gaming possible, except on the SOA part at lower levels. She died a total of 25 times, mostly due to traps. She killed all beholders. No Shield of Balduran. No problems.

    Over 10 years later, my first playthrough of BG2EE was again done with a solo Sorcerer on Insane difficulty. No metagaming, except my vague memory. He never died. He survived all traps and all encounters. He killed all beholders, including face-to-eye encounters. No SoB - not usable at all. The only time i ran away from beholders was when i entered the Beholder Lair in Underdark for the first time. I totally forgot what the southern tunnel was for, totally unprepared. Because I cannot die there, I exited the lair and had to run all the way to the western tunnel - because their spells were chasing after me across the entire Underdark map!

    So, killing beholders without SoB is always doable. Even on Insane difficulty without backing down, you have a (good) chance to survive all possible attacks from them. How good the chance is, primarily depends on how good the character/party you choose to play is.


    === here is some more info ===

    BG2EE v2.3:

    (1) Hair’Dalis killing beholders in melee:

    dual wielding, no shield, no Cloak of Mirroring, no potions, no quick items, no scrolls, only learned spells, no help from others, solo on his own well ahead of the party.

    He alone can melee kill eye tyrants, no problems if pre buffed. I will try him out again when I have to fight the first hive mother.


    (2) Remote attack ability of beholders:

    What’s that?! never noticed before.

    While Haer’Dalis fighting beholders, those eye tyrants CAN and WILL target an extra one of my party members on the map, in the order they appear on the right hand portrait bar. In first such battle, they killed Neera (party leader) in 2 hits, then hit Aerie once which triggered Sanctuary, then they hit Sarevok twice doing 150+ damage, almost killing him. At this time the battle was over so Sarevok was not dead only because he had much more HP than Neera. If the battle lasts longer, will they try to kill everyone else, no matter where they are on the map?

    They were almost simultaneously attacking both Haer’Dalis and another party member.

    I restarted the quest 2 times (I rarely quick save so can’t just redo this battle) just so as to see the battle 3 times. It turns out: They can and will always attack an extra party member who they can’t possibly see or know. On the other hand they can’t even see through invisibility or spot a lurking character.


    — Question —

    Beholders remotely attacking party members? Is that a bug? A new feature? Or just a onetime script in that one quest for Hexxat?

    Post edited by HenryNY on
    StummvonBordwehrlolien
  • redlineredline Member Posts: 246
    Neverused said:

    Another way that I used recently due to a certain mod giving beholders Evasion... Mustard Jelly form from Polymorph:self is a 100% counter to a beholder. Sadly, you're stuck with Mage thac0 unless you're a f/m, so taking down even a single one at Near Death with Nalia was a painful experience. Like three minutes of just watching her whiff against the thing's pathetic AC.

    It's worth pointing out that the Cloak of the Sewers offers a mustard jelly form as well. That's how I made it through the beholders in my last playthrough (along with lots and lots of summons when I got impatient).

    tbone1BoreklolienThacoBell
  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42
    OK, time to kill a Hive Mother

    ... with no shield, no Cloak of Mirroring, no traps, no potions, no scrolls, no backing down, no kiting, no cheesy tactics, no abuse of summons.... Just straightforward face-to-eye combat using known spells and equipped weapons/gear. Difficulty settings: Insane, with all damages taken universally doubled.


    Here is Neera's 5-mage party - As for my protagonist, just ignore him: he has to tag along as that is mandated by the game, but he doesn't participate in any battles (his only role is to replenish everybody's spells and remove fatigue, and occasionally resurrect a dead party member).


    - Neera (party leader, mage level = ~24)
    - Aerie (mage level = 15)
    - Jan (mage level = 15)
    - Sarevok (mage level = 15)
    - Haer'Dalis (Bard level ~29: a half-mage, recruited specifically for Aerie's romance)


    I surely knew where/when/how this Hive Mother would show up. But pretended to be knowing nothing specific, as though this were the very first play through. The 5-mage party only took 1 of their 3 Skeleton Warriors to the spawning spot. After the cut scene, Aerie was hit, so I had her summon a Deva and had Haer'Dalis cast Spell Immunity: Adjuration and then rush to melee the Hive Mother, in the hope that the Hive Mother would switch targets. For whatever reasons I don't understand, the Hive Mother completely ignored Haer'Dalis, despite that he was right next to her. The hive mother alternated targeting Aerie and Deva, but her subsequent attacks at Aerie were all negated once Aerie protected her from magic damage. Neera rapidly dropped 3 or 4 Dragon's Breath, wiping out the drow squad and bringing the Hive Mother down to Badly Injured.... Then dead. Deva was shut down with 100% spell failure by Hive Mother's Anti-Magic Ray. Only Aerie was injured. That's it.


    Note: this is only a mid-level party, as only Neera could cast level 8/9/10 spells. Yet, they killed a Hive Mother-supported drow party with no trouble at all.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,203
    redline said:

    Neverused said:

    Another way that I used recently due to a certain mod giving beholders Evasion... Mustard Jelly form from Polymorph:self is a 100% counter to a beholder. Sadly, you're stuck with Mage thac0 unless you're a f/m, so taking down even a single one at Near Death with Nalia was a painful experience. Like three minutes of just watching her whiff against the thing's pathetic AC.

    It's worth pointing out that the Cloak of the Sewers offers a mustard jelly form as well. That's how I made it through the beholders in my last playthrough (along with lots and lots of summons when I got impatient).
    In the original game the cloak jelly only had MR of 10%, but presumably Beamdog decided that was a bug and upgraded it to 100%.

    StummvonBordwehrlolienThacoBell
  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42
    I grabbed a few screenshots -

    At the start of the encounter, after the brief cut scene:


    After Aerie was injured:


    Right before the Hive Mother was killed:


    The party won the battle - fair and square.

    Note: (1) Two Skeleton Warriors, as well as my protagonist, are not involved in this fight. (2) Aerie was lucky: one of the two spells that the Hive Mother successfully hit her with was just a Finger of Death. Otherwise her total of 64 HP would not be enough to stay alive upon 2nd hit, as damages she takes are always doubled.

    Later, after this 4.5-mage party fights the group of 3x Elder Orbs (plus a Gauth) in a very tiny cave/room, I'll report the outcome again. Because those Elder Orbs use Imprisonment, I guess I may very well lose one or two party members there or even my (non-combatant) protagonist. If imprisonment is successfully cast on my protagonist, the game will be over.

  • HenryNYHenryNY Member Posts: 42
    edited June 4
    One more screenshot - related to Haer'Dalis attacking/killing two Death Tyrants on his own (see my post a little earlier) .


    Again, my experiences tell me that nobody has to have a shield to attack/survive/kill Beholders. However, beholders don't behave consistently throughout the game (let alone throughout a modded game). As shown in the screenshot here:

    What on earth makes the two beholders consistently and remotely target & injure my whole party?! Except for Haer'Dalis, the rest of my party were 1+ screens away!

This discussion has been closed.