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Is shaman mage weak?

From what I understand he has some buffs, and after using he stands still dancing (And we hoped for a good summon to come). I read that he is totally replaceable and nothing special, something that makes him unique and strong as a main character.

Is shaman mage weak? 25 votes

Yes
20%
valamyrsmady3_Nightfall_chimaeraDurmir46 5 votes
No
52%
byrne20StefanOfluke13Grond0ThacoBellRaduzielNeverusedDev6Rik_KirtaniyaArctodusZaghoulBorekSmurfking 13 votes
I'm in doubt.
28%
Arcanjoargent77DordledumDrewUKcaius78StummvonBordwehrFiddler 7 votes
CaptRory
«13456

Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,122
    No
    Shamans are GREAT. One of my favorite classes. The summons are good enough to win you most fights in BG1 with decent positioning, and once you get the really good Druid spells *coughinsectplaguecough* you have the sorc slots to spam them. Getting into SoD and BG2 your summons won't be as good, but they will still be very useful as infinite blockers to slow down or take the attention of the enemy. They are very utility, so you need to find the right time to use their different abilities, but done right, they are darn good. Oh, ad with better weapon choices than druids and the ability to be Half-orc, they are also decent secondary fighters. And with no real reliance on stats you can pretty easily build them however you want. Very versatile.

    Grond0StummvonBordwehrArcanjoZaghoul
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 262
    Another significant though often unmentioned benefit is that having a shaman frees up your clerics to memorize more combat-relevant spells, because the shaman can handle situationally useful buffs/cures like cure disease and slow poison. I agree that the shaman is strong addition to a party, though they'd be even better if they could multiclass as a fighter and gain a stronghold.

    ThacoBellArcanjo
  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 314
    No
    The shaman seems pretty versatile to me, I seleted spells good for damaging a single target, then they have the choice of using summons for crowd control or spell absorption, or switch off and focus on taking down the big fella. They act a lot like the bard, being a jack of all... some healing, some magic, some fighting.

    I've been using a Shaman PC (with iwdnpc) for an iwdee run, with Improved Shamanic dance installed. Basically he takes true point as leader with virtually all my battle tactics based around him. There is a massive need for crowd control in iwd and the summons take care of business, while the other party members use missile and spells to weaken the enemy. My fighters then step in and attack the rear without being attacked themselves. Being able to walk is truly great and why I installed it. I'm just seeing the upgraded summons now and the fire spirits are fantastic against those ice trolls. As a last resort... my shaman uses the ring of sanctuary, before doing his dance... then strides out invincible, as his summons attack all those around him :)

    ThacoBellArcanjo
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 560
    No
    Yeah, I dunno why people keep saying Shamans are weak or boring. You get all the weapon selection of a druid plus axes and bows (arrows of detonation, dispelling? Yes please.) As spells, you get everything a druid could possibly care about, with the only frustration being that I want ALL the level 5 spells at the same time. You also get one of two confusion/charm dispels, the other being Priest of Tyr’s Acclamation. Spiritual clarity is honestly useful enough to justify this class by itself IMO. Spiritual Fire’s pretty good as well, especially in SoD where area damage is king.

    And on top of all this, you get free disposable summons. This is incredibly useful both to soak HP damage and to soak those awful effect-on-hit attacks while your other characters attack from range. In SoD, these things can save you a ton of grief in the coldstone lich’s dungeon for this exact reason. So no, Shamans are pretty unique and useful, a mix between Totemic Druid and an Avenger and a shortbow.

    ThacoBellArcanjoZaghoul
  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,215
    edited July 27
    No
    The Shaman is a good class, but Beamdog loss the opportunity to implement it properly by importing the IWDEE druid spells to BG(2)EE and adding shaman-specific items in IWDEE and giving shamans a proper stronghold (or even the druid stronghold) in BG2EE.

    Pack it with IWDification and Argent's mod and what remains as problems can be ignored.

    Arcanjo
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,785
    No
    In terms of uniqueness the shaman has more claim to fame than almost any other character class, as a result of the shaman dance. Even without that the shaman's spells, fighting abilities and detection give them a wide range of options.

    You need to be careful how you use the dance, but it's already quite powerful enough - allowing things like movement or the ability to control them seems like overkill to me (shamans have other summons they can use if they want to). My main concerns about the dance are:
    - when summons move out of sight range of the shaman they stop fighting. While I understand the rationale behind this it can lead to stupid results. It would be fine if summons that went out of sight range were coded to retreat back towards the shaman, rather than just stand there while enemies attack them.
    - other summons apply to the summoning limit for the shamanic dance (so if you have a skeleton summons then a low level shaman could only produce one dancing summons rather than 2).

    ChroniclerArcanjoThacoBell
  • Durmir46Durmir46 Member Posts: 110
    Yes
    I believe the shaman to be fairly weak at the moment.

    The dance is so hard to use that it becomes situational, and the spirits do not scale well in the game. Plus, it's like the bard's song: you can't do anything else in the meantime. Is the dance worth losing the utility of a whole character? Absolutely no, especially since you cannot control spirits.

    Detection is like for the monks: with no mean of disarming the traps, it becomes frankly useless, you are gonna need a thief with 100 in trap detection anyway, the shaman will not change that.

    The last thing is the spells. Shaman-specific spells are just not that great. Having a sorcerer version of the druid sounds nice, but the druid spells simply cannot compete with the mage's ones. Cleric spells are better than druidic spells, and they are below mage spells. The only reasonably ok spells from the druid book take forever to cast.

    Overall, the shaman is weak. To make it better, spirit call should be fixed to make it easy to use and spirits should scale better; instead of trap detection, an auto-illusions detection while calling spirits would be nice; druid spells need to be reworked; shaman-specific spells need to be significantly boosted. That would be a start, although in terms of "power" it would only make the class average. It would still be better than what it is right now.

    Arcanjo
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,785
    No
    Durmir46 said:

    Detection is like for the monks: with no mean of disarming the traps, it becomes frankly useless, you are gonna need a thief with 100 in trap detection anyway, the shaman will not change that.

    I don't agree with the views expressed about the lack of usefulness of spells or summons, but I suspect that just reflects that there are lots of ways of playing the game - and different playing styles will favor different character classes.

    In relation to detection though I should point out that the shaman's ability is detect illusion and that's far more useful than the monk's detect (but not remove) traps. There are plenty of situations in the game where the shaman could be sent in invisibly in advance to remove illusions from enemies (like thieves and mages) and make them much more vulnerable to follow-up attacks. It's particularly nice to get this ability for free on character creation, since it's usually well into the game before a thief would consider boosting detect illusions rather than all the other skills they can learn.

    BorekThacoBell
  • ArcanjoArcanjo Member Posts: 149
    I'm in doubt.
    The difference and strength of Shaman in BG: EE, Dragon Spear, BG2: EE and IWD: EE is too large, does it get much weaker over time? For example, in BG2 is the Shaman still balanced or weak indeed, since its spells apparently do not evolve there? (Eg, Shaman Dance)

    Durmir46
  • ArcanjoArcanjo Member Posts: 149
    I'm in doubt.
    I do not know how to play with it, but it seems to be a totally dependent team character! Impossible of Solar, or going with small groups!

    Durmir46
  • Durmir46Durmir46 Member Posts: 110
    edited July 27
    Yes
    Don't even think about soloing with a shaman...

    I have always loved the process of finding underrated gems in RPGs, in terms of class or playstyle. So when I saw that powergamers and all the class rankings on the internet would put druids and their kits at the very bottom of usefulness, I thought I would give it a try. Oh god the disappointment... after playing a mage, it just feels so weak and harmless... In SoA there was a point when I stopped altogether to use my druid's spells at all. Buffs, damage, utility, no matter what you want to use there is always a much better version in the mage's spells...

    The spirits of the shaman cannot either possibly be considered as useful: if you want meat shields, you have much better conjuration spells with the mage, except in addition to soaking up damage, they are also capable to deal much, you can control them, and cherry on the cake you can still use your mage in battle in the meantime! I fail to see a single advantage of the shaman's spirits over conjutation spells from mages. Why would you inflict a shaman to yourself?

    Even detect illusion, if at least it was a passive, I would be ok with it. But as it stands, a thief would have 100 illusion with a range good enough to dispel everything, already. Why do you want a shaman?

    Shamans are either redundant, or inferior versions of much, much better other classes. Sure, it is versatile, I will give you that. As versatile as a character that can do a bit of everything but nothing well. It needs a major revamp, like the other druids.

    Arcanjo
  • Durmir46Durmir46 Member Posts: 110
    edited July 27
    Yes
    Well there are not many druid NPCs, alright. But you have to see they're also among the most unpopular ones... what is the point of having more if you're not gonna use them?

    Now regarding your list. Because you don't demonstrate these things are great, I suppose that I will have to demonstrate the few things that are actually relevant in your list are not.
    As an intro, I would highlight that while clerics are not the best class out there, they are still quite good and frankly useful. Sure, you would tend to use their spells less often as you progress in the game, but a few of their spells (including most of those druids do not have...) are still incredibly useful, and they are quite decent fighters on their own right. Therefore I will not comment in your list what clerics can do, assuming you would have it in your team if you like it anyway, through your cleric.

    Chaotic Commands - Cleric

    Death ward - Cleric

    Insect Plague - arguably the only spell here that can have a use. However there are many better ways to disable a mage with another mage (love my spell trigger breach/greater malison/lower resistance, followed by glitterdust <3; most of the time breach + "big fatty axe in ya face" is enough though)

    Blinding Beauty - I'm assuming you refer to Nature's beauty? The main effect would never trigger because of the impossible saving throw bonus, and banshee's veil is better anyway. The rest is an inferior version of glitterdust, and lasts merely seconds...

    Conjure Fire Elemental - that is the first time I see someone mentioning that spell as any good... squishy, weak damage, no real utility and there is always a random factor on what you get. Just get an Hakeashar like anyone else

    Detect Illusions, breaking through Pro. Divination for SCS users - thieves can do that (before lvl20 unlike shamans). True sight also does that

    Raise dead - Cleric

    Harm - Cleric

    Heal (quest related at least twice) - Cleric

    Wear helmets - Cleric

    Wear the Reflex - what? What are you refering to?

    Call Woodland Beings - how is that any good??? Almost any summon from lvl6+ of mage spellbook is better

    Remove Confusion or Charm - Cleric

    Dispel Magic with a 100% success rate (dispelling arrow) - most classes do that



    So in the end, can you remind me why the shaman already? It's just an inferior cleric...

    Arcanjo
  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 314
    No
    With a jack of trades, I don't think you can say... a mage does it better, a druid does it better etc... that's the whole point of a jack...you don't need 3/4 characters to do something better, than 1 character.

    ArcanjoThacoBell
  • Durmir46Durmir46 Member Posts: 110
    Yes
    Several things need to be clarified here:
    1) the topic focuses on the shaman: is it good or bad? I believe it is obvious this class is very weak, and I believe I have succesfully demonstrated that
    2) if you're looking for a jack of all trades, just get a F/M/T, that's what people do: you can do a bit of everything, but you can do it pretty well, ulike the shaman
    3) the best way to disable an ennemy mage is to kill it, not to disable spellcasting, I thought it was made clear in my description, but ok

    Now that these are settled, if you want to tackle the "shaman vs mage" thing, fine, here is the list again, then:

    Chaotic Commands < Spell Turning, Spell Deflection, Globe of Invulnerability, and others (although the usefulness of this spell is very seldom)

    Death ward - I fail to see the usefulness of this in the first place

    Insect Plague - my point above stands

    Blinding Beauty - my point above stands. By the way, the blindness is certainly not permanent and is actually very short lasting, which makes it incredibly not useful

    Conjure Fire Elemental - my point above stands (plus, mages have the exact same spell, although I admit with a 15% chance of failure)

    Detect Illusions, breaking through Pro. Divination for SCS users - true sight

    Raise dead - mages have the exact same spell

    Harm - plenty of spells would do at least as well, but on top of it, Harm is so random that it would be foolish to rely on it. Technically has a very low chance of landing

    Heal (quest related at least twice) - you need it only for side quest related completion, twice... and it's minor side quests, like in WK where you get 5k xp? Sorry but no

    Wear helmets - best helmets for casters are gems, and mages can wear gems, so how is that an advantage for shamans?

    Wear the Reflex - to reflect beholder's rays? very situational. While not reflecting, many spells can protect a mage from the rays, so frankly I do not see the point here... Especially since your caster is not supposed to tank beholders in the first place... Unless you're solo, but mages and sorcerers can solo, shamans can't

    Call Woodland Beings - again, so many mage summons are so much better.... If you want to summon spells that are higher than your caster level, do like everyone else: buy scrolls or wands, which is something mages can do, not druids so much... plenty of scrolls of nishruu in the game for instance. Even with no scroll, the nymph is weaker than some lvl4 summins in the mage spellbook (summon spiders on even monster summoning 2!! not even mentioning monster summoning 3 at lvl 5!)

    Remove Confusion or Charm - again, just get spell/magic resistance, it will protect for a lot more than just that. Oh sorry, you can't, you are not a mage

    Dispel Magic with a 100% success rate (dispelling arrow) - Dispel Magic does not dispel everything, far from it! The most annoying spells will not be dispelled, you need a mage for that! The best dispellers are by far the mages (although inquisitors are really good too), do not attack mages on one of their strengths!




    Now mages have much, much better summons (actually the best in the game) and more variety, they have better dispels and are arguably the only ones who can really beat ennemy high level mages, they have much, much, much stronger damage dealing spells, much much better debuff spells, much much better buff spells.... You want me to continue?


    So, 2 conclusions here:
    - I think at this stage it is obvious and proven objectively with appropriate arguments that shamans are just plain weak. There is no other reason to pick them than: RP, personal preference (at the expense of efficiency) and chalenging one-self with an obvious inferior class
    - Mages rock. Even more if you pick a sorcerer <3

    Arcanjo
  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 560
    No
    Clerics and druids have this weird system where the low level cleric spells are generally great while druid spells are less than great, whereas high level cleric spells are kinda not good and single high level druid spells outright end encounters. In my no-reloads, the only reason I use clerics instead of druids is because of Remove Paralysis. And Raise dead, but that’s cuz I’m sloppy and Recall Spirit fixes that anyways.

    Ideally, I like running two divine casters anyways for perma Chaotic Command and Death ward coverage, so a shaman would rarely compete with a cleric for a spot. If I want a shaman PC, I’ll run Viconia, Aerie, or Anomen. If I want a cleric PC, I... still might run Aerie, but I’d more likely take Cernd or Jaheira. If I’m running a non-divine caster, all bets are off.

    Also re: Call Woodland Beings: for one level 4 spell, you get three level 2 spells, three level 3 spells, two level 4 spells, two level 5 spells including a mass cure, and one level 7 spell, AND these spells can be cast while you’re doing something else. It’s one of the best druid spells out there, and the only reason my druids don’t stock up on nothing but these is because I like having death wards more.

    Arcanjo
  • StummvonBordwehrStummvonBordwehr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 412
    I'm in doubt.
    They are pretty good - but nothing that makes me tick. I miss the barb/shaman combo... I’d even be willing to trade the shamanic dance to see that.

    Ps. Shamans dont dance. They just pull up their pants and do the rockaway.

    Arcanjo
  • ArcanjoArcanjo Member Posts: 149
    I'm in doubt.
    If I understood correctly about the Shaman:
    1. Dependent on Time! (There is no way to play solo or with two more characters only), basically PT full. Right?

    2. Magicians in BG 1 to 2 and IWD are superior to the Shaman. right?
    Note: Does this apply to all druids and / or clerics?

    3. As the shaman, basically needs a group, this ends up reducing their problems, apparently the Shaman is among the worst Druids? By the limited amount of actual magic to use, the unique spells are not as strong / good at fighting. Right?

    4. He is by no means the best conjuror, these being the magicians?
    Note: Are the Totemic druids better than the Shaman? I do not remember which classes in forgothen Realms are invokers.

    Lastly:
    What are the most effective spells in the Shaman (BG1.2 and IWD), I do not know which ones to choose, I do not have (Experience with it).
    How should I behave in the game, strategy to make it efficient until the end (BG1,2 and IWD) ?.

  • NeverusedNeverused Member Posts: 560
    No
    Arcanjo said:

    If I understood correctly about the Shaman:
    1. Dependent on Time! (There is no way to play solo or with two more characters only), basically PT full. Right?

    2. Magicians in BG 1 to 2 and IWD are superior to the Shaman. right?
    Note: Does this apply to all druids and / or clerics?

    3. As the shaman, basically needs a group, this ends up reducing their problems, apparently the Shaman is among the worst Druids? By the limited amount of actual magic to use, the unique spells are not as strong / good at fighting. Right?

    4. He is by no means the best conjuror, these being the magicians?
    Note: Are the Totemic druids better than the Shaman? I do not remember which classes in forgothen Realms are invokers.

    Lastly:
    What are the most effective spells in the Shaman (BG1.2 and IWD), I do not know which ones to choose, I do not have (Experience with it).
    How should I behave in the game, strategy to make it efficient until the end (BG1,2 and IWD) ?.

    1) you can totally play shaman in a small party or solo and have it work. It might take a bit more game knowledge, but at least until Engame ToB this should be totally fine.

    2) Mages are not superior: that would mean that they are better at literally everything than the shaman. They simply do different jobs. Mages ARE more versatile if you know what you’re doing, but very few people have that type of mastery.

    3) I have no idea how anyone can claim the shaman’s the worst druid. I’d probably align it as Totemic Druid, Shaman, Avenger (with those three as basically equal), Shapeshifter, Druid, Fighter/Druid.

    4) Uhh. Conjuror is a specific class. If you mean a good summoner, I’d rank shamans among the best with the Totemic Druid.

    Lastly: there’s some threads about specific spells, but I can’t seem to find them right now. Hope this helps!

    ThacoBellRaduziel
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,785
    edited July 27
    No
    Arcanjo said:

    If I understood correctly about the Shaman:
    1. Dependent on Time! (There is no way to play solo or with two more characters only), basically PT full. Right?

    Not at all. I've played shaman solo quite a bit and it's perfectly possible. It does take practice to use the dance safely, but when you do that properly the summons can take down almost any opponents. However, the spirits are better defenders than attackers, so encounters take quite a while - spell damage, use of nymphs or missile fire are all generally quicker.

    2. Magicians in BG 1 to 2 and IWD are superior to the Shaman. right?
    Note: Does this apply to all druids and / or clerics?
    It's reasonable to say that overall, arcane casters are stronger than divine ones in BG2. I would say the opposite is the case in BG1 - mages are far more vulnerable than divine casters there and their spells are no more useful.

    3. As the shaman, basically needs a group, this ends up reducing their problems, apparently the Shaman is among the worst Druids? By the limited amount of actual magic to use, the unique spells are not as strong / good at fighting. Right?
    Wrong :). They don't need a group and their spell selection is better than druids (they can learn nearly all the best spells and cast them in any way they want). They're also better at fighting than druids. Where they lose out is that they generally level slower, which means it's a something of a toss up whether a druid or a shaman is easier to manage.

    4. He is by no means the best conjuror, these being the magicians?
    Note: Are the Totemic druids better than the Shaman? I do not remember which classes in forgothen Realms are invokers.
    The totemic druid gets special additional summons which are extremely useful. that certainly makes them easier to play than a shaman, though not necessarily more powerful - that will depend on your gameplay style.

    Lastly:
    What are the most effective spells in the Shaman (BG1.2 and IWD), I do not know which ones to choose, I do not have (Experience with it).
    How should I behave in the game, strategy to make it efficient until the end (BG1,2 and IWD) ?.
    Shamans have far more direct damage ability than druids (in BG, though druids get a wider selection of spells at low level in IWD). Writhing fog at level 2 is incredibly vicious as you can cast it out of sight of enemies and just wait for them to die (similar in effect to the mage cloudkill spell). They also get a magic fireball spell at level 4 if you want to speed up the killing. Other special spells later on include raise dead and maze in addition to the choice of all possible druid spells.

    Which spells work best for you is so dependent on the way you play the game that it's probably best just to experiment. I only play no-reload and nearly always solo, so my choices would reflect that and not the way you play.

    StummvonBordwehrThacoBellfluke13Arcanjo
  • ArcanjoArcanjo Member Posts: 149
    edited July 28
    Post edited by Arcanjo on
    StummvonBordwehr
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 3,785
    No
    I think the shaman pick order thread gives you the information you need to decide the type of spells you want. If it's helpful I found a note of spells I took when I last did a shaman solo:
    L1 - CLW, Doom, Bless, Armor of Faith, Entangle, Spirit Ward
    L2 - Charm P / M, Slow Poison, Resist Fire / Cold, Barkskin, Find Traps, Writhing Fog
    L3 - Call Lightning, Summon Insects, Protection from Fire, Spiritual Clarity
    L4 - Call Woodland Beings, Farsight, Death Ward, Protection from Lightning, Spirit Fire
    L5 - Insect Plague, Chaotic Commands, Iron Skins, Recall Spirit
    L6 - Fire Elemental, Harm, Spiritual Lock

    For equipment most things are pretty standard, but you might want to look out for the shaman-specific Heart of the Mountain and Circlet of Lost Souls (they appear in SoD and again in BG2).

    The spirits from the dance can kill just about anything given time, but you need to be ready to run away immediately if all the spirits are killed. The most efficient way to use spirits against stronger enemies is to produce a normal summon before starting to dance and get the remainder of your limit. The normal summon can then lead the enemy into sight of the spirits.

    A shaman will almost never be better at fighting in melee than at range (or using summons or spells). One very effective tactic against is to cast Writhing Fogs and run around in those while chasing enemies gradually freeze to death.

    I haven't used any of the shaman mods, so can't comment on those. However, the kit is interesting and powerful enough to allow playing solo without the need for mods.

    StummvonBordwehrBorekArcanjoThacoBell
  • ArcanjoArcanjo Member Posts: 149
    I'm in doubt.
    How does the combo between these spells work? I read something about using area magic and running inside them (I think that's it). The doubt is, what combinations of spells / abilities can I use with the Shaman to be able to win the fights? Due to my lack of experience, I do not have this perception.

    "Spiritual Lock": I have no idea how to use this ability in something useful or that combines with other magic. The same is basically true for the rest.

  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 314
    No
    Just one thing to add to the mix... normally AI scripts aren't very useful. I put my shaman on druid offence/defence and he absolutely kicked ass in an iwdee boss battle... he was swinging two axes and casting spells. I'll look to try and get a video uploaded some day.

    StummvonBordwehr
  • ArcanjoArcanjo Member Posts: 149
    I'm in doubt.
    fluke13 said:

    Just one thing to add to the mix... normally AI scripts aren't very useful. I put my shaman on druid offence/defence and he absolutely kicked ass in an iwdee boss battle... he was swinging two axes and casting spells. I'll look to try and get a video uploaded some day.

    Do you have player videos using the shaman?

  • ArcanjoArcanjo Member Posts: 149
    I'm in doubt.
    Do the STR, CON, DEx, INT, WIS, CHA statuses affect their invocations and strength? or do they have fixed statuses and only changes the same type of invocation?

  • ArcanjoArcanjo Member Posts: 149
    I'm in doubt.
    Are there any good Mod, which releases castle pro Shaman and runs on BG 1,2 and IWD?

«13456
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