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(Really) Early game advice required

DanElDanEl Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 10
I've been playing IE games on and off for about 15 years when I first picked up BG II. Even after all these years I am no expert but have enough of a grasp of the basics to enjoy them.

I've just started BG again after a couple of years and am enjoying it immensely but have to ask - is the beginning really this hard or am I just that bad (or both ha ha)?

My plan is to gather my party completely before doing too much so we can level together and I'm currently on my way to Nashkel to pick up Minsc, then Dynaheir to complete my party and then start completing side quests etc.

My problem is: from Beregost on my way to Nashkel everything can and does kill me so I avoid all fights (as I don't want to give all my gold to hobgoblins/ bandits etc).

Is this what I'm supposed to be doing - i.e. avoiding conflict, then coming back to explore/ fight later when I have a couple of extra party members and levels? Or should I be fighting now and learning what tactics to use through trial and error (and luck)?

Thank you in advance for any advice/ suggestions.

JuliusBorisov

Comments

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 15,453
    It's completely ok.

    You can play a bit more cautiously, though, and kill enemies with ranged weapons (kite). Use your thief as a scout while she's hidden.

    DanElThacoBell
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 369
    edited July 9
    It depends on your party set up - you should be able to pretty easily handle anything on the road to Nashkel unless you get EXTREMELY unlucky (there used to be a vampiric wolf that could spawn on the map South of Beregost and that would be death - as well as the 6-8 bandit encounter that's a random encounter when you travel to the Friendly Arm Inn).

    So the main question is what are you running with? Depending on your PC's class, and if you have 2-3 helpers, you should be all set really.

    The game is rather hard at the start though, especially if you don't know what to expect I will give it that.



    DanElThacoBellJuliusBorisov
  • DanElDanEl Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 10
    Thank you for the replies.

    I am a multi class F/T (Elf with **Longbows/ * Scimitars/ * SWS) as I'd like to drop Imoen to use the new NPCs and check out their quests. Current party: myself, Imoen, Jaheira and Khalid.

    What made me send this query out was 2 encounters last night: 1) the Hobgoblin pack who use poison arrows and 2) Teyngan, Jemby and Zekar.

    I wondered whether I was ill-prepared or if these were tough battles for a 4 person level 1 party.

    JuliusBorisov
  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,258
    Don't forget that you can usually run away and literally 'live to fight another day'.

    JuliusBorisov
  • minsc4prezminsc4prez Member Posts: 96
    Khalid is ok on damage, you can give Jaheira a nice shield and she can be your tank for now. If you are still having trouble just go one screen North of friendly arm inn and pick up Ajantis (Paladin) who is just standing around up there, i think he starts at level 2 with platemail.
    Also i found i had more fun with a 5 person party and just switch out the sicth member as needed for characters side quests. Also look around the trees in teh southern portion of Friendly Arm Inn for a nice ring for Imoen

    JuliusBorisov
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 208
    DanEl said:

    My plan is to gather my party completely before doing too much so we can level together and I'm currently on my way to Nashkel to pick up Minsc, then Dynaheir to complete my party and then start completing side quests etc.

    Your plan, I think, explains why you are struggling. There's no shortage of XP in this game so you don't need to worry about conserving it. Moreover, by trying to conserve it, you are guaranteeing your party will be weaker than the devs expected you to be. Add to this the decision to run an unbalanced party (no mage) and you're looking at needing to run from a fair number of encounters.

    If you want to stick with what basically amounts to a speedrun until you fully staff your party, I'd suggest at least hitting 2nd level before leaving Beregost to give you greater survivability. Having someone who can cast sleep, like Xzar or Garrick, would also be quite helpful at 1st/2nd level even if they are only temporarily joining your party. (Or you could consider being a fighter/mage/thief yourself.) In terms of tactics, stealthed or even unsteathed scouting is key for under-leveled parties like yours, both to know when to run and to help pre-place spells such as entangle that would seem tailor-made for a longbow specialist like your character.

    minsc4prezDanElJuliusBorisov
  • GallengerGallenger Member Posts: 369
    Use Jaheira as a tank - you seem to want to cover archery for yourself, so you will probably want Khalid to fight up close too, and then Imoen can hide with you.

    Honestly, for covering magic until you get Dynaheir (sleep trivializes lots of encounters) you could use the new NPC Neera who can be found south of the manor house in Beregost - and she starts with sleep too :D Just watch your gold, because her wild magic can sometimes erase some amount of the party's gold.

    DanElJuliusBorisov
  • mysterymeepmysterymeep Member Posts: 33
    As they said yes, it really can be that hard. The ways to make it easier are generally going to be about disabling spells and abilities, range, and raw luck. Once you get consumables, they help a ton too. You can do it!!

    DanElJuliusBorisovThacoBell
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,326
    It's easier to get XP as a solo player, so if you're finding your party struggles early on then why not pick up a level or two before recruiting anyone? Killing Shoal is worth 5k and there are several easy quests around Beregost to get a few thousand more.

    You mentioned encountering Teyngan & co on the way to Nashkel. They're not on the direct route, so presumably you've been doing a bit of exploration of surrounding areas. That does open up the possibility of running into tougher encounters, so using a stealthed scout is even more important if you don't know where to expect enemies.

    DanElJuliusBorisovThacoBell
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,275
    TLDR; Yes, this is perfectly normal, and may even be a big part of the experience/reputation of the BG series.

    Getting to second level is probably one of the biggest boosts of the game. Your hit points typically double, and you can be comfortable taking at least one hit from most low level enemies without dying. Getting to second is a big deal, and can definitely be tricky before you have mastered the meta of the game. As learning how to survive those early levels is one of the more engaging parts of the game (if it does not frustrate you to death) I don't want to give too much away, but it is actually significantly easier with the EE versions of the game, that give you more combat options for more powerful characters from the start, and bonus XP for taking simple actions for thieves and mages.

    One thing that often catches players like myself out is remembering to use all the disposable kit that is thrown your way like potions (especially healing potions) and Wands. I always want to conserve these items for when they will really matter, but if I am dying now, they really matter NOW! That is probably the single best tip I can give without giving away things that are more fun to learn yourself ;)

    DanElJuliusBorisovThacoBellthespace
  • Yann1989Yann1989 Member Posts: 81


    One thing that often catches players like myself out is remembering to use all the disposable kit that is thrown your way like potions (especially healing potions) and Wands. I always want to conserve these items for when they will really matter, but if I am dying now, they really matter NOW! That is probably the single best tip I can give without giving away things that are more fun to learn yourself ;)


    Haha, it's the same for me, I always keep them for later, and then I never use them

    DanElGreenWarlockthespacelost1
  • DanElDanEl Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 10
    Thank you all for the responses and advice. Looking forward to getting back into it tonight (I'm currently playing IWD on my iPad as well and am a Dad so I have to ration my play time!).

    As always, I find this a really helpful, positive forum (which is refreshing these days ha ha).

    JuliusBorisovdunbarThacoBell
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,871
    DanEl said:

    Thank you for the replies.

    I am a multi class F/T (Elf with **Longbows/ * Scimitars/ * SWS) as I'd like to drop Imoen to use the new NPCs and check out their quests. Current party: myself, Imoen, Jaheira and Khalid.

    What made me send this query out was 2 encounters last night: 1) the Hobgoblin pack who use poison arrows and 2) Teyngan, Jemby and Zekar.

    I wondered whether I was ill-prepared or if these were tough battles for a 4 person level 1 party.

    Both those quests are after Beregost and there are a few quests in Beregost itself with good rewards that don't involve any or much fighting.
    Talking down Marl in Feldeposts.
    Delivering book to Firebeard
    Finding letter for Marianne (found on the Ogrillons)

    And you are a thief, steal and open every lock before leaving, including from the Thunderhammer smithy at night (+1 bastard sword for Khalid). That way you have some money for better arrows and potions.

    I think that those tasks are meant to be completed by a low level party and not put off until later, and then the poison arrow Hobgoblin group you "have" to get past as they are on the main road, are much easier.



    JuliusBorisovdunbarDanEl
  • XanatosXanatos Member Posts: 18
    Garrick is a really useful guy to have around. He makes it so you dont have to make your protagonist put points into pick pockets, can cast sleep spells (the great neutralizer when fighting basic mobs) and dps with a crossbow. But yeah. Save constantly, and expect to have to reload. If you're fighting something big (perhaps an Ogre) just kite them around the map with your ranged units. Once you get XP rolling in the game feels a lot easier.

    ThacoBellthespaceGreenWarlockDanEl
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