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Some gameplay/mechanics questions

LammasLammas Member Posts: 144
I've been playing this game for years. Usually one playthrough every year or 2 of BG1 and BG2 (only ever played through TOB once, I honestly didn't like it all that much back then. Going to give it a try again since it's been years and maybe I'd enjoy it more these days). I always thought I know a lot of these games and that is not false compared to anyone else I know plays these games. This, however is a dedicated forum I know to have experts that have broken everything in these games down to science. There are a few things on a pretty basic level I never ever actually looked up or tested and I'd finally like to expand my BG knowledge of these things so here we go.

1. Stealth

1a. Ever since BG2 changed stealth into 2 categories: move silently and hide in shadows I've honestly never bothered looking up what these 2 actually do. My innate guess has always been that hide is used for the initial hiding while move silently is used for follow-up checks maybe paired with hide but I'd finally like to know for sure so what does the game actually do with these 2 skills

1b. I've never ever known if there's some negative modifiers for stealthing in the game. For example does daylight affect your roll to hide / keep hidden or does being in LOS of one or more creatures, hostile or neutral, affect your rolls in any way. So do they?

2. Weapon damage types

2a. I've never payed that much attention to what I'm using. I know skeletons are resistant to piercing damage (or maybe these days just missiles since ranged weapons got changed into their own category?) and there are some slimes that are immune to piercing and I think one that was very resistant to crushing. Could you good folks give me a list of creatures that have a (high) resistances to specific weapon damage types?

2b. Different armors also have different modifiers against different damage types which I'm not sure if it was originally implemented and if it was it was probably only listed in the physical manual. Most enemy fighters in the game are using chains, splints and plates with splints probably being the rarest and mostly encountered in the beginning parts of BG1. Are all armors of all types under the same rules? What I mean is does a regular old chainmail have the same AC modifier vs damage types as Mail of the Dead or Bladesinger chain or Mithral chainmail and so on? Any exceptions?

Bonus question: since missiles seem to now be their own category in EE, does that mean that piercing AC bonuses like the girdle of piercing no longer give you more AC against arrows and bolts?

3. Early BG1 spell choises

My go to charname has for the most part during the past years been a fighter in BG1 made into Kensai in BG2 dualed into mage. With EE however I'd have to play Kensai from BG1 and instead of rolling with it I've decided it's time to go for something different. I've always loved bards; always had Hear'Dalis in my party in BG2 and usually pick up Eldoth in BG1 because of that but I've very very rarely completed any of the games as a Mage or a Bard and I usually don't put much stock on mages on low level in BG1 aside from using wands and maybe casting some debuffs/CC like blindness or horror. Since I've made the choise that Blade is now my go to I'd like to know what the heck I'm actually doing. What are the best spell choises for lvl 1 and 2 spells in BG1 and 2? I've seen Grease and Sleep mentioned and I honestly never even thought about them. Are there some other good choises I'm missing out on?

That's it for now. There's bound to be more questions but this is already a wall of text and I can't think of too much more right now. Thanks in advance to anyone that takes time out of their day to answer my queries.

DordledumThacoBellGoturalJuliusBorisov
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Comments

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,867
    1. Stealth:
    a. Your ability to hide in shadows is actually the average of the two scores. They don't really do anything different, you just need both of them now.
    b. Being in direct light does apply a penalty to hide rolls. If something looks like a shadow on the map, it probably is, and will give a better chance of hiding. You can't hide while a hostile creature is in sight, unless you play a Shadowdancer. Or you blind yourself.

    2. a. Skeletons resist all piercing damage. Some enemies resist blunt, and some slashing. Its a good idea to pay attention to this.
    b. The different armor modifiers have always been in game. Some magical armors might have better resistances, but not all do. All non-magical armor of the same type is identical.
    bonus: Missle vs. Melee does not override damage type. The only instances where I can recall it making a difference are when using bucklers and small shields (they don't give AC bonus against missile weapons), and being in melee range with a missile weapon equipped gives you 4 AC penalty. Arrows and bolts are piercing, bullets are bludgeoning. Being a missile weapon does not affect the damage type.

    3. Sleep is AMAZING. It affects so many enemies in the game, and is essentially a guaranteed kill when enemies sleep. MVP spell for BG1. The Armor spell is also a good choice for an early buff. What I usually do when I play Blade (which I've done a LOT), is to take sleep and armor as my starting spells. I wear normal armor until I get two spell slots, and switch to armor and sleep. For Blades, I would focus on Buffs like mirror image, ghost armor, haste, etc. and spells that scale with levels. Since Bards level fast, their spells will actually be stronger than mages at the same experience level. I tend to get a lot of mileage out of debufs as well (sleep, slow, etc.)


    Bards are a lot of fun and the best single class in the series. Their varied toolkit lets you tackle any situatation basically any way you want.

    LammasJuliusBorisov
  • LammasLammas Member Posts: 144
    I'll be picking sleep from now on then (I've aways slept on it, forgive the pun)

    Do you have a list on enemies that are immune or highly resistant to different damage types? The reason I'm asking in this topic is so I don't have to out and see it all for myself. BTW are there any enemies that are extra vulnerable to any damage type in the games?

    For the hiding... that's honestly a bit disappointing. So it's just one thing broken into 2 different skills and that's it? Nice to know in-game shadows are a factor though, that's a really nice touch.

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,867
    No I don't have a list of enemies. Just watch the combat feedback window and the game will tell you if an enemy is resisting the damage you are using.

  • UlbUlb Member Posts: 218
    ThacoBell said:

    1. Stealth:
    a. Your ability to hide in shadows is actually the average of the two scores. They don't really do anything different, you just need both of them now.

    Is this how it works in the EEs?
    I am like 99% sure that in the classic games "Hide in the Shadows" and "Move Silently" were used for the initial stealth check (i.e.: (HidS+MS) /2)) and all subsequent checks would only check for MS. Essentially making MS the only relevant stat.

  • WatchForWolvesWatchForWolves Member Posts: 156
    @Ulb that's what I remember being the case as well, which ironically made Move Silently the better of the two.

    @Lammas in original Baldur's Gate I think Skeletons and Oozes are the only ones with any kind of damage resistance. Some special NPCs like Drizzt or Shandalar have it as well, but in that case they're reistant to everything equally and you're "not supposed" to kill them anyway.

    As for Skeletons and Oozes, Skeletons are 50% resistant to slash/pierce damage and 90% resistant to missile damage. Mustard Jelly(which is the only ooze that can pose any threat) has resistances of 30% slash, 60% crush, 100% pierce and 85% missile.

    I don't remember any enemies taking extra damage from a particular damage type.

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,465
    Ulb said:


    Is this how it works in the EEs?

    That's how it's always worked, according to the devs looking through the code.
    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/370098#Comment_370098<blockquote

    GoturalJuliusBorisovThacoBellDaevelon
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,831
    Ulb said:

    ThacoBell said:

    1. Stealth:
    a. Your ability to hide in shadows is actually the average of the two scores. They don't really do anything different, you just need both of them now.

    Is this how it works in the EEs?
    I am like 99% sure that in the classic games "Hide in the Shadows" and "Move Silently" were used for the initial stealth check (i.e.: (HidS+MS) /2)) and all subsequent checks would only check for MS. Essentially making MS the only relevant stat.
    I'm pretty sure that was always a myth. Or maybe spplied to BG1 but definitely not BG2. I distinctly remember people testing BG2 and finding that HiS and MS were identical. I'm pretty dure Beamdog hasn't changed anything here.

    Beamdog has, on the other hand, given us the tools to mod this. I've been fiddling with ideas like, increase HiS by 50% while not hidden and reduce it by 75% while hidden; and do the opposite for MS. That way where you allocate your points (and the bonuses from items you find) will affect your ability to 1) get hidden, or 2) stay hidden.

    ThacoBellGotural
  • UnderstandMouseMagicUnderstandMouseMagic Member Posts: 2,138

    Just an extra note, can't answer a lot of the questions. But this is something it took me a while to figure out.

    Golums.
    Clay golums have to be bludgeoned. Slashing, arrows, piercing ect. don't do them any damage, blunt weapons only.
    (I hate golums)
    And of course the buggers have high magic resistance.

    The others are easier in some ways as all the weapons can do damage, but you do need enchanted weapons or at least +2 arrows.
    Adamantine golems, well that a different ball game. "+ God knows what" are needed, somebody here will explain.

    You meet some golums quite early in BG2 so thought it might be useful to know.

    ThacoBell
  • LammasLammas Member Posts: 144
    edited October 2018
    I was mainly thinking of BG1 but I guess including BG2 enemies would be ok too. I think Otyughs are also completely immune to piercing damage but there's like 2 of them in the whole game and they aren't too hard. I think both Iron and Adamant golems need +3 or better. The nice thing about them is that besides Suldanessellar I think they always get stuck on terrain and doorways because they are too big for their own good making them basically free exp with ranged +3 weapons (Axe from Bodhi quests, Dwarven throwing hammer or the +3 shortbow with infinite ammo).

    I thought flesh golems in BG1 have some resistance too but maybe I remember wrong. The ones in high hedge and lighthouse cave are usually some of my early exp farms with Sirines and basilisks because a potion of absorbtion tentds to make them free pickings and you can find one from Molkars party or the party in the basilisk map. Another one can also be found in the lighthouse cave stash (which I usually carry until Tazoks tent if I don't have a thief for traps. Putting a leathal trap on something that needs to be opened for story progression is totally genius BTW.).

    As for slimes, green slimes are pretty wicked and their poison has killed me more often than Mustards ever have, but theyre are only a couple of places with them in the game and in the other you can basically choose to have mustard slimes instead for more exp and the other is completely optional tavern fight in the Gate.

    BTW how do you guys protect yourselves against Sirine charms? I usually use a scroll of magic protection since it lasts so long but I wouldn't mind knowing more options for that. There's at least that one potion that makes you immune to up to lvl 5 spells. Any other options?

  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 184
    edited October 2018
    Lammas said:



    BTW how do you guys protect yourselves against Sirine charms? I usually use a scroll of magic protection since it lasts so long but I wouldn't mind knowing more options for that. There's at least that one potion that makes you immune to up to lvl 5 spells. Any other options?

    I don't, the charm has a relatively short duration, and I just run away as soon as a character gets charmed. once it wears off, I rejoin combat. Sirines are quite squishy.

    UnderstandMouseMagic
  • LammasLammas Member Posts: 144
    Eh? I always thought it lasts painfully long which is why I stopped doing exactly that. Besides it's nice to land a few hits on the Sirines while they are trying to charm you.

  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 184
    edited October 2018
    Lammas said:

    Eh? I always thought it lasts painfully long

    Everything's relative of course :P

    Post edited by Dordledum on
  • PingwinPingwin Member Posts: 151

    Ulb said:

    ThacoBell said:

    1. Stealth:
    a. Your ability to hide in shadows is actually the average of the two scores. They don't really do anything different, you just need both of them now.

    Is this how it works in the EEs?
    I am like 99% sure that in the classic games "Hide in the Shadows" and "Move Silently" were used for the initial stealth check (i.e.: (HidS+MS) /2)) and all subsequent checks would only check for MS. Essentially making MS the only relevant stat.
    The original BG1 only had Hide In Shadows IIRC.

    ThacoBell
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,831
    Yeah but these games use an updated version if the BG2:TOB engine. So original BG1 is sort of irrelevant.

  • LammasLammas Member Posts: 144
    Hey, I've got another one!

    Spell interruption, how does it work? It seems chance based and in BG1 landing a hit is basically a guaranteed interrupt but in BG2 I've had (or at least IIRC I've had) a lot of situations where the mages and clerics just tank the hit and carry on casting.
    I just realized I have never in all these years known how this actually works. So how does it work :D

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,867
    @Lammas The game is cheating. Certain enemies have scripts that force spells to cast.

    LammasDaevelon
  • LammasLammas Member Posts: 144
    Well, that explains a whole lot then.

  • LammasLammas Member Posts: 144
    Ressing my own topic because I've got another one:

    So, I've always noticed hits are most likely to happen on the rounds first strike or when initially engaging the enemy. This feels especially true in melee, though I don't know if it matter (or if I'm just imagining the whole thing to begin with). Today I've paid special attention to how my character can swing in the air for what seems like forever but my initial "flanking strike" always seems to hit and this is from a visible rogue class just walking up so no invisibility bonuses apply here.

    Is there actually some sort of a system that favors round starts for higher rolls or am I just believing it to be so and it's all totally random rolled?

    While I'm at this there's a another thing I realized I've never even thought about: When dual wielding with 2 or 3 pips the off-hand weapon gets -4 and -2 to rolls respectively. Does this mean the off-hand weapon can never crit since a natural 20 would get the -2 applied to it? Or does that only apply to thac0 outside 20 rolls? I'm fairly sure I've had off-hand crits in my BG2 games before but I honestly dualwield very, very rarely (or actually before these Blade runs I'm constantly having now to learn the ins and outs of it I never dualwielded myself on my fighter-mages. Felt too out of place / cheesy for me. Character immersion is half the fun even for a half-shameless half-powerplayer like me :smile: )

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,867
    Its just confirmation bias, there aren't any bonuses to rolls based on when in the round they start. Though there are cosmetic animations in the game. So not every visible swing of your weapon is an actual attack roll. You can turn the empty animations off in the options.

  • LammasLammas Member Posts: 144
    Again: that explains a whole lot then. I don't think I've noticed that option before. I'll have to look for it next time I start the game. I'd rather not have confusing extra fluff and that is most certainly the reason this is happening since I just realized I don't even have more than 1 APR with the setup I'm currently using.

    ThacoBell
  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,465
    Lammas said:

    While I'm at this there's a another thing I realized I've never even thought about: When dual wielding with 2 or 3 pips the off-hand weapon gets -4 and -2 to rolls respectively. Does this mean the off-hand weapon can never crit since a natural 20 would get the -2 applied to it? Or does that only apply to thac0 outside 20 rolls?

    Only modifiers that specifically refer to your critical hit/miss rate have any influence on them, such as those from single/two-handed weapon styles. However, attacking a helpless target (asleep/held/stunned/paralyzed/timestop) cannot crit either way, as it bypasses the attack roll and automatically hits.

  • bretbret Member Posts: 24
    ThacoBell said:

    Arrows and bolts are piercing, bullets are bludgeoning. Being a missile weapon does not affect the damage type.

    I don't think that's accurate (but I'm not confident enough to say with certainty!) In my experience, the game engine treats arrows, bolts, bullets, and throwing weapons as a unique "missile" damage type, distinct from piercing/crushing/slashing. A creature's missile damage resistance (and/or armor class bonuses/penalties) are distinct from their resistance/armor vs other damage types.

    The best (most observable) evidence of this are ochre jellies. You can poke 'em with a dagger or spear (piercing), but they are 100% immune to all missile attacks. Likewise, common skeletons have 90% missile damage resistance, but "only" 50% piercing resistance.

    But I could be wrong, and would gladly be educated on the subject by someone with more knowledge of the internal game mechanics!

    subtledoctor
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,867
    @bret You're right. But I wasn't trying to say that there was no difference between missile and melee. There are different rules for each. My point was that the secondary effect of missile weapons (piercing, blunt) doesn't change the overall weapon type. Missile weapons are all missile weapons ans enemies tend to be resistant or immune to missile or melee and say, blunt. I don't think there are any instances in the game of an enemy being immune specifically to say missile blunt damage. Missile and melee, and all other types (blunt, pierce, slash) have separate immune/resistance flags.

  • bretbret Member Posts: 24
    kjeron said:

    Lammas said:

    While I'm at this there's a another thing I realized I've never even thought about: When dual wielding with 2 or 3 pips the off-hand weapon gets -4 and -2 to rolls respectively. Does this mean the off-hand weapon can never crit since a natural 20 would get the -2 applied to it? Or does that only apply to thac0 outside 20 rolls?

    Only modifiers that specifically refer to your critical hit/miss rate have any influence on them, such as those from single/two-handed weapon styles. However, attacking a helpless target (asleep/held/stunned/paralyzed/timestop) cannot crit either way, as it bypasses the attack roll and automatically hits.
    To clarify and expand on this, an attack roll of 20 is a guaranteed hit regardless of any other THAC0 / AC modifiers. Conversely, an attack roll of 1 is a critical miss. Thus, there's always a minimum 5% chance to-hit and 5% chance to-miss regardless of the attacker's THAC0 or the defender's AC.

    Or to put it another way, you can't achieve 100% physical immunity just by having extremely low AC, nor can you achieve perfect (miss-free) offense by having a very low THAC0. There's always an element of chance.

    ThacoBell
  • bretbret Member Posts: 24
    ThacoBell said:

    @bret You're right. But I wasn't trying to say that there was no difference between missile and melee. There are different rules for each. My point was that the secondary effect of missile weapons (piercing, blunt) doesn't change the overall weapon type. Missile weapons are all missile weapons ans enemies tend to be resistant or immune to missile or melee and say, blunt. I don't think there are any instances in the game of an enemy being immune specifically to say missile blunt damage. Missile and melee, and all other types (blunt, pierce, slash) have separate immune/resistance flags.

    Now I'm more confused. "Secondary effect"?

    My working understanding of the game mechanic is that there are just four (physical) damage types: Crushing, Slashing, Piercing, and Missile. The first three are used by various melee weapons, and the last one is used by all player-usable missile weapons (bows, slings, thrown, etc.) I think there are a few creatures that have ranged attacks which do crushing damage, but nothing player-usable.

    So when I shoot an arrow at a creature, their AC vs missiles determines whether I will hit, and any Missile Resistance they have will determine if there is any damage reduction. AC vs piercing (and piercing resistance) aren't part of the equation.

    But I'm happy to be proven wrong! Can you elaborate on the mechanics of secondary-effects, and/or provide some in-game examples where I could observe the effects?

    ThacoBell
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,867
    edited November 2018
    @bret The way the op worded their question made it sound like they thought there were different attributes for piercing and missile piercing. My response was that no, missile is a separate designation, like you stated above. Missile, melee, piercing, crushing, slashing. They are all separate, there aren't special attributes that are combined. That's all.

    bret
  • LammasLammas Member Posts: 144
    Yup, I was just wondering if girdle of piercing gives AC vs missiles or not (or armors that have extra AC vs piercing).

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 7,867
    @Lammas It should give AC vs all kinds of piercing.

  • bretbret Member Posts: 24
    Lammas said:

    Yup, I was just wondering if girdle of piercing gives AC vs missiles or not (or armors that have extra AC vs piercing).

    In my install, BELT04 - Elve's Bane specifically has two effects: +3 AC bonus vs missile and +3 AC vs piercing. Those bonuses are reflected on the character record, and also described in the item description.

    I don't have too many mods installed, so I think that's how it is in vanilla BGEE.

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,194
    Elves' Bane provides +3 AC vs Piercing weapons and +3 AC vs Missile weapons.

    In the official AD&D rules, there's 3 damage types: Slashing, Piercing and Crushing. That something is a Melee or Ranged attack has nothing to do with the damage type whatsoever. So you'd have some things that were good or bad versus a specific damage type, or good or bad versus melee or ranged.

    Baldur's Gate "simplifies" this by adding Missile as a 4th damage type, and letting all ranged weapon use this Missile damage type instead of the regular Slashing/Piercing/Crushing damage types. Thus, rather than having to track modifiers vs melee or ranged and separate modifiers vs damage type, the game just needs to track modifiers vs damage type.

    Since most ranged attacks would be considered Piercing attacks, most abilities that affect piercing damage also affect missile damage and vice versa. Check the armors for example, or the Elves' Bane. This does lead to some oddities, such as the Elves' Bane being effective against slings, which would be considered to be a Crushing type, but is lumped in with arrows into Missile.

    Also, do pay attention to the damage type modifiers. They can lead to some oddballs. For example, compare Karajah's Life and Death (a +3 Leather Armor found in Durlag's Tower) to a regular Studded Leather Armor.

    A regular Leather Armor has an AC of 8, and -2 vs Piercing and Missile, effectively leading to:
    AC 8 vs Crushing
    AC 8 vs Slashing
    AC 10 vs Piercing
    AC 10 vs Missile

    Since Karajah's Life and Death has a +3 magical bonus, all of those improve by 3:
    AC 5 vs Crushing
    AC 5 vs Slashing
    AC 7 vs Piercing
    AC 7 vs Missile

    A regular Studded Leather Armor has an AC of 7, and +2 vs Slashing and +1 vs Piercing and Missile:
    AC 7 vs Crushing
    AC 5 vs Slashing
    AC 6 vs Piercing
    AC 6 vs Missile

    So, while a regular Studded Leather Armor is weaker to Crushing than that whopping +3 Leather Armor, it's equally good against Slashing weapons, and actually better against Piercing and Missile weapons! That Karajah has an AC of 5 and the Studded Leather an AC of 7 is very misleading.

    ThacoBellAerakar
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