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SCS Question

I wanted to try and balance my power gamer mentality by increasing the difficulty. Any advice on using SCS with BG2EE? Are there good places to go for tips when I get completely womped? I've heard SCS can be quite challenging...

Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,820
    I know very little about SCS, as I don't much care for difficulty mods. But it IS very taolorable to different playstyles. It has a bunch of different components that tweak certain things, so you pick what you want to be harder.

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 355

    I wanted to try and balance my power gamer mentality by increasing the difficulty. Any advice on using SCS with BG2EE? Are there good places to go for tips when I get completely womped? I've heard SCS can be quite challenging...

    It's very good, but there are TONS of options, some of which dramatically change certain encounters. I strongly advise you read the entire readme file before installation so you know which features you want to use and which to avoid. I use it myself, but have a fair few options off. Just the AI improvements are a decent difficulty improvement, casters become much more dangerous.

    JuliusBorisov
  • FredSRichardsonFredSRichardson Member Posts: 442
    Actually, if anyone is willing to share their favorite SCS options with maybe a little explanation that would be greatly appreciated. It's always nice to have a good starting point ;)

  • EnuhalEnuhal Member Posts: 309
    Some thoughts on some of the more impactful SCS options for BG2:

    The most significant choice is propably which part of "smarter mages" you want to include. Option 1 (allowing them to cast all short-term buffs instantly) is a significant increase in difficulty and does turn some mage battles into "wizard chess", where you have to carefully get rid of their defenses one by one. I, personally, like it, but there are quite some people who don't.

    The "Smarter Beholders" options are notable because they disable simply using the Shield of Balduran as a viable tactic (there are alternatives, like kiting the beholders through cloudkills and bombing them from off screen). Improved vampires can be a bit difficult if one isn't used to it. Improved Abazigal's Lair adds a very notable encounter, which can be quite unexpected and difficult.

    I would also recommend not allowing all SoA spellcasters to get HLAs, because it can make even relatively early parts of SoA quite frustrating. SCS Liches are also something to be feared (so taking the option to get only max level spawns, including liches, can be challenging).

    Finally, I shoud mention that the option for Tactics Spirit Trolls turns these into really annoying enemies. They can be dealt with, but you will hate them.

    ThacoBellGrond0StummvonBordwehrJuliusBorisov
  • ChiefBigFeatherChiefBigFeather Member Posts: 9
    edited July 13
    It really depends on your system mastery. I installed SCS via the BigWorld setup, it worked like a charm.

    My installation includes pretty much every component except for short duration pre buffed mages. That one makes certain early mage fights really hard. Tactics Irenicus is very hard, toned down tactics Bhodi is doable.

    Loosing your items in spellhold can be problematic because there is a lich spawning if you enter at higher levels. Like others pointed out, do not push random encounter difficulty too far. One step above normal added some spice to random encounters but really preserved the feel of progression towards a boss.

    I would also advice to let 3/4 of the potions shatter. You should end up with tons of potions anyway.

    A lot of game difficulty comes from party composition and choice of main character and party composition.

    Fighter/Illusionist is probably the best choice for a PC. Thief/Illusionist may be stronger overall but there is a very good Thief/Illusionist NPC already. Cleric/Mage comes third. I'd add in a pure mage to access higher level spells. Haer'Dalis is a good support add-in, especially if you have access to SoD items (improved bard song+bard hat is nuts).

    Note there is a currently a bug that prevents Breach from working against certain opponents like the Transmuter Rukh in the Windspear dungeon. Since that Rukh uses PfMW, the fight is very annoying atm.

  • FredSRichardsonFredSRichardson Member Posts: 442
    Wow, I just tried Big World and, well, I think it is playing catch up with the 2.5 release. Things went "kablooey", but fortunately the Beamdog folks made it really easy to revert the game to it's original starting point.

  • chimaerachimaera Member Posts: 560

    Actually, if anyone is willing to share their favorite SCS options with maybe a little explanation that would be greatly appreciated. It's always nice to have a good starting point ;)

    I actually use most of the tougher options, but for a first timer I'd recommend a more minimalist set up.

    1. core component - required

    2. spell tweaks - more consistent breach spell (I've run into some weird bugs without it)

    3. ai enhancements:
    - initialize ai
    - smarter general ai
    - better calls for help
    - smarter mages / priest never precast short duration buffs (option 3)
    - potions for npcs
    - improved/smarter various critters - choose the no hitpoint increase for enemies like demons or dragons
    - choose the original game version for enemies like beholders or mind flayers (avoid the "tactics" versions)
    - skip the Ascension improvements

    4. The tactical challenges are a mixed bag, so you might want to skip them entirely. The easier challenges are the starter dungeon, resillient trolls, random encounters, shade lord, d'Arnise keep, unseeing eye, spellhold battle, sahuagin, drow (except for ust natha defences upgrade) and watcher's keep improvements.

    UnderstandMouseMagicGrond0StummvonBordwehrJuliusBorisov
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,868

    I started using SCS when I had really "mastered", not that I didn't still die, playing on insane.
    Then dropped the insane level to hard or core for the first few times I used SCS.
    That gives you time to adapt to the different kind of difficulty SCS creates.

    I think the install options outlined by @chimaera are very suitable for first trying SCS.

  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 720
    First time out go very minimal, mainly the ai components & calls for help. Then you can ramp up the difficulty a bit more later. Certain other mods e.g. Quest Pack for BG2, Atweaks, may also affect enemy AI.

  • FredSRichardsonFredSRichardson Member Posts: 442
    Is there any issue with SCS and 2.5? Also, will it crash and burn an existing game in progress?

    Thanks! -Fred

  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 513

    Is there any issue with SCS and 2.5? Also, will it crash and burn an existing game in progress?

    Apparently there is an issue with SCS and 2.5. There was a work-around posted here.

    You should definitely start a new game after installing SCS.

    JuliusBorisov
  • FredSRichardsonFredSRichardson Member Posts: 442
    Thanks @OrlonKronsteen!

    Well, I think I want to downgrade to 2.4, but I'm not sure how to do that...

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 5,820
    @FredSRichardson In general, chaning any mods around will bork existing save games.

  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 513
    edited July 17

    Thanks @OrlonKronsteen!

    Well, I think I want to downgrade to 2.4, but I'm not sure how to do that...

    You're welcome. Rolling back your version may be problematic. If you're on Steam you may be able to roll back a version (IIRC you used to be able to roll back from 2.0 and up to 1.3), but I'm not sure what the current situation is with Steam. GOG may let you roll back as well if you're using Galaxy but, again, I personally can't confirm that since I don't use it. If you bought from Beamdog, you're out of luck. The best thing to do (it may be too late for you) is to keep a back up of a clean install on your computer, so if you don't like an update you can go back to it.

    P.S. There was no final 2.4 version - 2.3 was the last one.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 1,868

    I don't know if it's the same thing as "rolling back", but approx. 2 months ago I downloaded the 1.3 version from Steam.
    So unless it's changed, 1.3 is still downloadable.

    OrlonKronsteen
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