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Has Neera become immortal?

I spent last night soloing with my fighter thief. I was breaking into every house in Beregost and robbing the place blind and pretty soon my inventory was full and I was in need of a gem bag. I went to bump into Neera and then stood aside while the Red Wizard and his thugs dealt with her, planning to take the bag from her corpse when they were done (I don't like to kill her myself - I'm a good guy).

Anyway, this time she wouldn't die. She got whacked by the thugs over and over again and had a load of spells chucked at her by the mage she still stayed alive. In the end I had to kill the wizard and let her join the party just to get the gem bag.

So what gives? Is Neera immortal now?

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Comments

  • DragonwizardDragonwizard Member Posts: 10
    I had quite the opposite experience with Dorn as he suddenly starts dying in his encounter on the way to Nashkell mines. It happened to me twice in a row now, that he got killed while I was dealing with the thugs.

    I think at least both should behave the same way right?

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,848
    The first time I got caught up in the Dorn ambush he got killed, mainly because I assumed that he could take care of himself (and it turned out he couldn't). I managed to keep him alive last time I met him.

    With Neera what happens seems to have changed. I used to avoid the encounter at low level because I generally found that Neera would get killed and I would get killed along with her but this time she seemed completely indestructible. I was wondering if something had changed with the 2.5 patch.

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,085
    Yes, this is a change, to address a lot of problems with unfortunate Neera dying during low levels, and to make her consistent with Dorn. Dorn can't die during the ambush encounter.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,848
    @JuliusBorisov

    Thanks Julius. I guess I was misremembering about Dorn. The time he died must have been before the patch.

    I can't say I am a fan of the change. If a character keeps dying in an encounter maybe it's because the encounter has been badly designed. Making the character immortal seems the wrong way to fix the problem.

    And now we've got a situation where if I allow Neera to see my character I get dragged into a fight in which I can be killed but she can't. That doesn't make much sense to me.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,325
    You don’t have to get dragged into the fight. Just tell her you want no part of it when she first talks to you. She will go away.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,848

    You don’t have to get dragged into the fight. Just tell her you want no part of it when she first talks to you. She will go away.

    I thought if you told her to go away you still got attacked by the Red Wizard because he didn't want to leave witnesses or doesn't this happen know that Neera is immortal?

    And if she goes away how do you get the gem bag?

  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 16,085
    edited October 1



    I thought if you told her to go away you still got attacked by the Red Wizard because he didn't want to leave witnesses or doesn't this happen know that Neera is immortal?

    Now you have another option which @AstroBryGuy describes.

    These are additional reasons to make Neera unkillable:
    - Neera's HP at the lvl 1 are very low (4)
    - Neera's wild surge can kill herself (for example, through a Fireball surge)
    - Neera is in Beregost, the town many players reach while still of the 1st level and thus not having enough firepower to kill all the enemies before they hit Neera

    Another argument was the following. With a LoB diffuculty available, keeping Neera on LoB alive during the initial encounter was more difficult than all other tasks of the similar level of danger. Neera just melees enemies after casting her spells, thus becoming an aim of the red wizards.

    All that against a situation when you want her Gem Bag for the sake of it - as a result of her dying in the encounter. You can just go kill her in the Friendly Arm Inn. Or you can let her join you for 10 seconds, take the gem bag, and dismiss her.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,848
    I am afraid that all sounds like a very badly designed encounter to me.

    Problem 1. We have created a character who has got low hit-points and who can kill herself by accident.

    Problem 2. We have put her in a place where the people who meet her are likely to be too low level to handle the encounter.

    Problem 3: The character's script means she melees after casting her spells. But she is hopeless at meleeing and so just gets herself killed.

    Solution: We make her immortal.

  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 116
    That's a change that I really didn't like. Last time I started a new game and ran into Neera, I killed the red wizard and the two henchmen both went after Neera. As my character was evil and didn't want to get involved, I thought I'd just wait for nature to take its course and then loot Neera's corpse...

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,325

    You don’t have to get dragged into the fight. Just tell her you want no part of it when she first talks to you. She will go away.

    I thought if you told her to go away you still got attacked by the Red Wizard because he didn't want to leave witnesses or doesn't this happen know that Neera is immortal?

    And if she goes away how do you get the gem bag?
    I made a suggestion to Beamdog to give the player the option to avoid the encounter. They implemented it.

    https://support.baldursgate.com/issues/35411

    If she goes away, you don't get the gem bag. If you want the gem bag, either kill her before the encounter starts (the minhp item doesn't get applied until the red wizard encounter starts), or go through the encounter, accept her into the party for ~10 seconds, take the gem bag, and dismiss her.

    Or, just install the Add Bags of Holding component from Tweaks Anthology.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,848
    edited October 1
    Whilst making the Neera encounter avoidable was a good idea the way it has been done makes no sense.

    If you say you won't help her then the Red Wizards don't show up at all. So Neera tells you she needs saving but because you refuse to help it turns out she doesn't need saving after all. If it was your first playthrough you would have absolutely no idea what was going on.

    If you say you will help and then change your mind and tell the Red Wizards to take her they turn hostile but only attack Neera. I've tried it a couple of times and she can't kill them because she hasn't got the spells and is lousy in melee and they can't kill her because she is immortal. The fight ends up as a stalemate and if you want it to end you have to kill the Thayvians, who don't fight back because they now only target Neera.

    If you fight by her side you can be killed but she can't.

    It's a mess.

    Post edited by Permidion_Stark on
  • ArctodusArctodus Member Posts: 996
    I think you’re overanalyzing this stuff.

    If you say you won't help her then the Red Wizards don't show up at all. So Neera tells you she needs saving but because you refuse to help it turns out she doesn't need saving after all. If it was your first playthrough you would have absolutely no idea what was going on.

    Just like Viconia. If you don’t help her, she just run away, seemingly not needing your help. I guess it can be justified by saying they keep running away from their assailants.

    If you say you will help and then change your mind and tell the Red Wizards to take her they turn hostile but only attack Neera. I've tried it a couple of times and she can't kill them because she hasn't got the spells and is lousy in melee and they can't kill her because she is immortal. The fight ends up as a stalemate and if you want it to end you have to kill the Thayvians, who don't fight back because they now only target Neera.

    It’s a bit weird, but you can also just leave and let them have at it. You’re not forced into this fight. Neera will eventually prevail, when she’ll roll enough crit to take them out.

    If you fight by her side you can be killed but she can't.

    Just like Dorn. That’s a plus for people who actually intend to use her. It happened to me very rarely, but sometimes Viconia dies during her initial encounter. And that’s also stupid : her body lies right there but I can’t grab it to resurrect her. Tough luck; either you reload of just abandon her forever (or until SoD/SoA). That’s wonky implementation in both case, but I prefer the short-lasting immortality, because it’s more player friendly. I don’t like Neera myself, but at least I prefer her actual implementation.

  • ShashakiroShashakiro Member Posts: 11
    FYI, Dorn isn't currently immortal in the ambush encounter. If he's supposed to be, then there's a bug, because he's definitely not, to my recent chagrin. I considered coming to the forums to complain and recommend it be changed, actually, so I'm a bit surprised to hear confident claims that this has already been done.

  • YoudanjaYoudanja Member Posts: 7
    I can confirm there is a problem with Dorn in version 2.5.17.0.

    I had to reload at least 20 times during my encounter with Dorn near Nashkel because he kept dying under 10 seconds.

    He finally made it through after 20+ attempts.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,848
    Arctodus said:

    I think you’re overanalyzing this stuff.

    If you say you won't help her then the Red Wizards don't show up at all. So Neera tells you she needs saving but because you refuse to help it turns out she doesn't need saving after all. If it was your first playthrough you would have absolutely no idea what was going on.

    Just like Viconia. If you don’t help her, she just run away, seemingly not needing your help. I guess it can be justified by saying they keep running away from their assailants.

    If you say you will help and then change your mind and tell the Red Wizards to take her they turn hostile but only attack Neera. I've tried it a couple of times and she can't kill them because she hasn't got the spells and is lousy in melee and they can't kill her because she is immortal. The fight ends up as a stalemate and if you want it to end you have to kill the Thayvians, who don't fight back because they now only target Neera.

    It’s a bit weird, but you can also just leave and let them have at it. You’re not forced into this fight. Neera will eventually prevail, when she’ll roll enough crit to take them out.

    If you fight by her side you can be killed but she can't.

    Just like Dorn. That’s a plus for people who actually intend to use her. It happened to me very rarely, but sometimes Viconia dies during her initial encounter. And that’s also stupid : her body lies right there but I can’t grab it to resurrect her. Tough luck; either you reload of just abandon her forever (or until SoD/SoA). That’s wonky implementation in both case, but I prefer the short-lasting immortality, because it’s more player friendly. I don’t like Neera myself, but at least I prefer her actual implementation.
    I'm afraid I disagree with all of this. The fight between Neera and the Thayvians is all kinds of stupid now. I don't know whether you have watched it but you will be waiting a very long time for Neera to kill them with her staff. Meanwhile, if you do intervene they totally ignore you so you can kill them without putting yourself in any danger. So you can earn the experience without doing anything for it.

    If people want to be certain that Neera and Viconia won't die in their initial encounters then they can always switch to story mode. Otherwise, you take your chances.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,039
    @Permidion_Stark Godd news, you don't have to engage with this at all. Tell Neera to bug off and go on your merry way. You don't lke Neera? Don't like the quest? Don't bother with them.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,848
    ThacoBell said:

    @Permidion_Stark Godd news, you don't have to engage with this at all. Tell Neera to bug off and go on your merry way. You don't lke Neera? Don't like the quest? Don't bother with them.

    I'm not really sure what point you are making here? Do you feel that I shouldn't comment if I think that changes made to the Neera encounter have made it worse?

    I'm not keen on the Neera character (because I don't want a Wild Mage in my party not because of her personality) and I think the encounter has always been problematic, mainly because it can be over-powering for a low level party and before the latest patch there was no way to avoid it. However, if I was playing a good character I would always try to keep her alive. In fact I quite enjoyed the challenge of getting her through the fight unscathed.

    But now it feels totally pointless. No matter what level of difficulty I am playing on Neera is playing in story mode. I can't see how this is an improvement and I hope they change it back in the next patch.

  • ShashakiroShashakiro Member Posts: 11
    I'll also chime in and say I think the game is better when potential companions are immune to death from NPCs during their initial encounters.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,039
    @Permidion_Stark I don't see how that fight is in any way punishing, even at low levels. The mage is low level and dies almost immediately, and the guards aren't much tougher. Imoen, Khalid, Jaheira, Kagain, Garrick, Xzar, and Monteron are all available before that fight without any deviations for side content. Even with all level 1 characters, you have zero trouble with the fight. The only issue is the bad AI, which is an engine limitation. The devs made the right chioce making Neera invincible, it removes an aspect of randomness from the fight that would otherwise be completely out of the control of the player.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,848
    ThacoBell said:

    @Permidion_Stark I don't see how that fight is in any way punishing, even at low levels. The mage is low level and dies almost immediately, and the guards aren't much tougher. Imoen, Khalid, Jaheira, Kagain, Garrick, Xzar, and Monteron are all available before that fight without any deviations for side content. Even with all level 1 characters, you have zero trouble with the fight. The only issue is the bad AI, which is an engine limitation. The devs made the right chioce making Neera invincible, it removes an aspect of randomness from the fight that would otherwise be completely out of the control of the player.

    Why shouldn't the fight be random? If it is part of gameplay then it should play like the rest of the game. If it is not part of gameplay then make it a cut scene.

    I agree it doesn't make much sense for NPCs to be killed before they can join the party so why create that possibility in the first place? If the devs didn't want them to die they shouldn't have sent a bunch of guys to attack them.

    In both instances the characters could have been introduced in a different way and the ambushes could have taken place once they were in the party. Then you wouldn't have to do dumb railroad DM stuff like making a character immortal for an encounter.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,039
    @Permidion_Stark Well for one, leaving something entirely up to RNG (with no way for plaers to account for it) is bad game design. For another, nothing else in the game is random. You have die rolls with modifiers, but with the proper planning and strategy, random chance can be completely cut out of the equation in terms of "Can I survive/succeed at this?" No-reload runs are built around using knowledge and planning to cut out the RNG.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,848
    ThacoBell said:

    @Permidion_Stark Well for one, leaving something entirely up to RNG (with no way for plaers to account for it) is bad game design. For another, nothing else in the game is random. You have die rolls with modifiers, but with the proper planning and strategy, random chance can be completely cut out of the equation in terms of "Can I survive/succeed at this?" No-reload runs are built around using knowledge and planning to cut out the RNG.

    I agree, if you don't want Neera to die it is bad game design to create a situation where there is a chance she will be killed.

    But it is far worse game design to create that situation and then try to correct it by making her immortal.

    The devs made a mistake when they first designed the encounter and now they have compounded their error by making her unkillable.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,039
    @Permidion_Stark I don't see it. They corrected an error.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 3,848
    @ThacoBell

    They didn't correct an error, they double-down on it.

    They wanted Neera to be able to join the party so that the players could do her quest but they created an initial encounter where there was a good chance that Neera would die. Instead of recognising that this was a mistake and changing the encounter they said we can solve this problem by making Neera immortal.

    It's not a solution, it's just a hand wave that has made things far worse than they were in the first place.

  • fluke13fluke13 Member Posts: 312
    I agree about it being a bad encounter design. But to put things into perspective, 99% of cutscenes/encounters in the original game were the same. In the opening cutscene with Gorion, charname needed to be healed (by a mage) to ensure you don't die right at the beginning. Many many mages through the series cast spells they don't have to make the cutscene look good/ easier to implement.

    Ideally - a cutscene or event should play out realisticly under the d&d rules - it would also help new players to learn, e.g. seeing how the npc mage lowered the defences first etc. But, like with Neera, the scene is meant more for story than gameplay and the effort to implement everything by the book far outweighs the benefit of keeping the core rules advocates happy. Also, things like this are very easy to mod and make it exactly how you want it :)

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,039

    @ThacoBell

    They didn't correct an error, they double-down on it.

    They wanted Neera to be able to join the party so that the players could do her quest but they created an initial encounter where there was a good chance that Neera would die. Instead of recognising that this was a mistake and changing the encounter they said we can solve this problem by making Neera immortal.

    It's not a solution, it's just a hand wave that has made things far worse than they were in the first place.

    No, its a good solution. Having to babysit an uncontrollable ai was the mistake. There are tons of instances of min1hp effects throughout the series.

  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,035

    It's a terrible encounter for a terrible NPC in a terrible place to have it.
    And the "solution" makes things worse.

    Apart from that, yay, everything is hunky dory (heavy sarcasm).

    @Permidion_Stark, just attack/kill her from range the moment you see her before she has a chance to speak to you. She will try to run but gets blocked by the Fog of War.

    Mind you, better do it fast before they close that loophole. :D

    A more thorough solution to all the problems would have been to place another gem bag for sale at one of the shops as well as the min IHP for players who find the fight too hard but want to recruit her.

    But that was too simple......


  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,325
    edited October 2

    Whilst making the Neera encounter avoidable was a good idea the way it has been done makes no sense.

    If you say you won't help her then the Red Wizards don't show up at all. So Neera tells you she needs saving but because you refuse to help it turns out she doesn't need saving after all. If it was your first playthrough you would have absolutely no idea what was going on.

    If you say you will help and then change your mind and tell the Red Wizards to take her they turn hostile but only attack Neera. I've tried it a couple of times and she can't kill them because she hasn't got the spells and is lousy in melee and they can't kill her because she is immortal. The fight ends up as a stalemate and if you want it to end you have to kill the Thayvians, who don't fight back because they now only target Neera.

    If you fight by her side you can be killed but she can't.

    It's a mess.

    If you refuse to help her, there is no reason for the Red Wizards to show up at that moment. She asks you for help, you say no, and she wanders off. Possibly she gets killed off-screen by Ekandor & Co., but there is no need to show that since her story has stopped intersecting with CHARNAME's.

    Viconia works the same way. She asks for help. If you say no, she does an EscapeArea(). The Flaming Fist soldier doesn't appear to kill her in front of you. Viconia just leaves.

    Also, the Thayvians attack my CHARNAME when they turn red-circled, even when I say they can have Neera when talking to Ekandor. There's nothing in their scripts that targets Neera only.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,334
    I'm with @Permidion_Stark on this one. There are several less-cheesy solutions to this problem, and the encounter is not plot-critical to require the minhp effect.

    Main problem is the encounter is genuinely tricky for a first level party, especially a party of 1st level newbies that may be just the PC and Imoen at this point. The simplest solution is to move the encounter a little deeper into the game, so the PCs are likely a 2nd or 3rd level, and more numerous.

    Second solution is to do the "it's a cut-scene" thing completely, rather than invite combat on the party.

    Finally, the encounter could be cut back and simplified even further, although that is probably the second- least satisfying option, where last choice is a cheesy cannot-die effect.

    Heck, have the assassins use weapons that often do no damage, or penalize their hit rolls, or pretty much anything rather than god-mode cheese. Thinking of the combat-practice encounter in Candlekeep where the PC does not take damage here.

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,325
    edited October 2
    If you want to make Neera killable during the Red Wizard encounter, it takes all of two seconds to make the necessary change to NETHAY01.DLG in NearInfinity.

    Just add the following action to NETHAY01.DLG, State 0, Response 1:

    ActionOverride("NEERA",ApplySpellRES("OHNMODE2",Myself))

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