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Good aligned Party + some questions

Although i'm still playing IWD EE, i'm already looking forward to play BG 2 again after all these years. I want to make a good aligned party, but also neutral companions are an option. And i was thinking a bit ahead, from which i remember about the game and what experiences i made playing IWD and BG 1 EE the last couple of weeks.

Initially i was thinking about the following party:

- Berserker 13/Mage PC with Flail/Morningstar for Flail of the Ages
- Keldorn with Two Handed Swords for Carsomyr
- Anomen with DW Warhammers for that 25 Strength Warhammer
- Jaheira with Scimitars (not sure if DW with that extra attack one or not) as a melee/healer hybrid and for those insect spells vs. casters
- Imoen/Yoshimo with mostly bows for detecting traps and opening locks, and to have that Yoshimo moment again
- Neera as my mage, because after intially failing a lot and blowing herself up she ended up a really good mage in BG1 EE and quite an interresting character

My problems with this composition are:
- Keldorn and Anomen both have really low dex for frontliners and i don't think there is a second pair of gloves of dex in the game. So they pretty much exclude each other or you have a character which is missing out on a lot of potential
- I feel like my party is kind of "caster-heavy" and with the downtime of my dual-class warrior my front-line might lack and i miss out on Flail of the Ages for a big amount of time.

So what about this party:
- Berserker 9 or 13/Mage PC, i might dual-class earlier to have his fighter abilities back earlier
- Keldorn same as above
- Jaheira same as above
- Minsc or Mazzy as another melee character, not sure which weapon proficiency
- Imoen/Yoshimi same as above
- Aerie for additional healing/buffing + offensive mage spells from the back

Additionaly i would like to know:

Do i "destroy" my BG 2 experience if i play Siege of Dragonspear before BG 2, because i end up starting BG 2 which a much higher level, thus trivializing some content ? It might help my Dual-Class PC to get back his fighter abilities earlier on in BG2.
Is it right that Fighter Multiclasses + Rangers + Paladins can only get 2 points in weapon proficiencies ? I'm pretty sure my Fighter/Cleric in IWD has 4 points into his weapon of choice. So do the rules used in the games simply differ in that point ?
Is there any NPC that makes a good archer in BG 2 EE ? I have an archer in my IWD party and i had Coren in BG1 EE and i was happy with both of them. Or does archery simply fall of too soon in BG 2 ?

I know it is a lot of text, but thank you in advance for reading everything and i would really enjoy having some input, or reading some thoughts from other people.

Comments

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 3,839
    There's only one pair of DEX gloves. Personally, I hardly ever use Anomen in melee since two is enough and three is a crowd. Even more so if Jaheira want to run in, as you say, and start whacking things in melee as well which makes 4 ppl running around eachother trying to get shots in. 2 melee, 2 ranged and 2 casters is the ultimate combo IMHO. To some degree this can be mitigated using reach weapons so one or two of the 'DPS' characters can attack from behind the frontliners, so using your setup this means Anomen would up front (shorter reach weapon) with Keldorn in the second line. This means Anomen would be better of with the DEX gloves.

    You won't miss out so much from dualing and you have enough meat to pull through during your charname's downtime. Personally I think level 9 is the sweetspot (or actually 7 if you play BG1 first), though if you want to dual at level 13, just take your own CHARNAME, buy/steal all the scrolls to get a sweet EXp boosts at the start of BG2 before you get any new NPCs.

    "Do i "destroy" my BG 2 experience if i play Siege of Dragonspear before BG 2, because i end up starting BG 2 which a much higher level, thus trivializing some content ? It might help my Dual-Class PC to get back his fighter abilities earlier on in BG2."

    Yes, I think so. I like SoD and like playing it, but BG2 does indeed get easier. The slaver's ambush, the early encounters vs vampires during nightime are all easier when you are higher level. I woulnd't go so far to call it trivial, but with all tomes and the exp from SoD, BG2 becomes easier without a doubt. Depends a little bit on your class selection though since some classes or combo of classes benefit more from the levels from SoD than others.

    "Is it right that Fighter Multiclasses + Rangers + Paladins can only get 2 points in weapon proficiencies ? I'm pretty sure my Fighter/Cleric in IWD has 4 points into his weapon of choice. So do the rules used in the games simply differ in that point ?"
    Yes, all MC and non-fighter warrior classes can 'only' reach specialization in weapon prof's. I'm a rookie when it comes to IWD, so can't say for sure about the rules there. Dual classed characters can still reach GM in BG2.

    "Is there any NPC that makes a good archer in BG 2 EE ? I have an archer in my IWD party and i had Coren in BG1 EE and i was happy with both of them. Or does archery simply fall of too soon in BG 2 ?"

    Valygar is a pretty good archer, Yoshi too (and can be dualclassed into fighter). Mazzy is of course the best archer and start with GM in shortbows, coupled with Tuigan's she will wreck things to shreds with her pew-pew skills. Minsc is average as well, but with ie Strongarm or other composite bow types he is reasonably well suited to at least partly use bows. There's no 'illegal' Coran in BG2 though.
    IMHO Archery doesn't fall short in BG2, though it's not the creme de la creme as it is in BG1. There's plenty of arrows nowadays and good options for bows, so you can rest assured than any NPC you make an archer will keep score with the others and complement your team very well. Sure, an Archer Ranger would outperform them all, but I very often use Mazzy in my parties and love having one NPC dedicated for archery since you pick up so many great arrows that would otherwise go to waste. An archer can land a few shots before a crowd of melee's reach and all execute the attack animations, if you have too many of them, so even if you do less damage per hit, you still do good average damage over rounds.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 402
    Jaheira is stronger than Anomen at high levels because she can use fighter HLAs. At low to mid levels they're about equally useful, though, and Anomen is still OK toward the end of the game if you wanted to keep him in the party.

    A berserker/mage dual is one of the strongest CHARNAMEs you can have so no issues there. However do keep in mind that mages can cast spell immunity which means you won't benefit too much from rage. That's why some people opt for kensai/mage duals, fighter/mage multis, or fighter/mage/thief multis (which you could also consider).

    Do you destroy your BG2 experience if you play SoD first? Well, Beamdog said when making SoD that they'd find a way to adjust BG2's initial difficulty, to compensate for starting the game with 3x its intended experience. But as far as I know, that never happened, and I'm not sure it was even legally allowed to happen as they weren't permitted to change BioWare's content. I usually EEKeeper my XP down to 161K when I start BG2.

    Finally, on the two-star issue, it's always been true for IE games. If you had more than two with a fighter then most likely it was a dual-classed character. Or you were playing with the old Wes Weimer mod that permitted grandmastery for all types of fighters.

  • SacerdorSacerdor Member Posts: 4
    @jsaving Thank you for your input. It was never Anomen vs. Jaheira for me, since i always wanted to pick Jaheira for my group. It was more like Anomen + Neera vs. Aerie + x, while keeping in mind that i want Keldorn to have Gloves of Dex.

    The Berserker/Mage as PC is kind of set in stone since i have played a 19 Int Berserker to XP-Cap in BG 1 and i only need the thieves guild Dungeon to finish the game that should be imported into SoD or BG 2 as soon as i finish the last fights of the game. But i tried a F/M/T in my IWD party and he was fun aswell.

    On the topic of the weapon proficiency points i meant that in IWD a multiclass could get more than 2 points and i was kind of surprised to read that you could only get 2 points in BG 2, because i initially thought they were using the same ruleset minus the HLAs in IWD.

    @Skatan Thank you aswell for your input. I kind of always take at least 3, better 4 chars that offers me consistent damage. And while casters are really powerful when they have all their spells avaliable and dominate the difficult fights, i like to have characters that do the "groundwork" in these everyday battles. Also i hate it when enemies break through my frontline and attack my squishy casters. My BG1 Party is Berserker PC, Ajantis, Branwen (who switches between warhammer and sling depending on the situation), Coren, Imoen and Neera.
    Maybe i'm just uncomfortable with too many casters because i don't think i have reached the point in the game back then, when they really started to be strong. I can remember i did that underwater area and was in that drow area but probably never finished it.
    I would really like to see an example of the 2 melees, 2 ranges, 2 casters party build you prefer, because for me ranges and casters are somewhat intertwined and Jaheira or Fighter/Cleric or pure Cleric can be melees but still caster, while additional to dedicated archers like Coren almost all my mages get some range-weapon to do something while they are not casting spells, either because i want to save their spells for harder fights or they are out of suitable spells at the end of a longer fight.

    Skatan
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 2,857
    If you're worried about going to BG2 at a much higher level you can use near infinity to lock the Bg1/SoD xp cap at 160.000 . With all its magic items and potions SoD as a whole is totally playable at levels 8-10.

  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 3,839
    Quote:
    Sacerdor said:


    @Skatan Thank you aswell for your input. I kind of always take at least 3, better 4 chars that offers me consistent damage. And while casters are really powerful when they have all their spells avaliable and dominate the difficult fights, i like to have characters that do the "groundwork" in these everyday battles. Also i hate it when enemies break through my frontline and attack my squishy casters. My BG1 Party is Berserker PC, Ajantis, Branwen (who switches between warhammer and sling depending on the situation), Coren, Imoen and Neera.
    Maybe i'm just uncomfortable with too many casters because i don't think i have reached the point in the game back then, when they really started to be strong. I can remember i did that underwater area and was in that drow area but probably never finished it.
    I would really like to see an example of the 2 melees, 2 ranges, 2 casters party build you prefer, because for me ranges and casters are somewhat intertwined and Jaheira or Fighter/Cleric or pure Cleric can be melees but still caster, while additional to dedicated archers like Coren almost all my mages get some range-weapon to do something while they are not casting spells, either because i want to save their spells for harder fights or they are out of suitable spells at the end of a longer fight.



    i like to have characters that do the "groundwork" in these everyday battles.
    My point about archers above was that they can do the same groundwork as melee, meaning, they kill things quickly and with the multitude of different arrows, can tailor their attacks to context. Arrows of dispelling, detonation, or pure damage arrows all fit different situations.

    "Also i hate it when enemies break through my frontline and attack my squishy casters. "
    I've played the game many hundreds of hours, a lot less than many frequent forum posters, but still enough to say that this happens maybe twice in an entire playthrough for me, and those few times that happens stoneskins is enough to keep the arcane casters alive long enough for a spell or counterattack to face off the attacker. YMMW though.

    "Maybe i'm just uncomfortable with too many casters because i don't think i have reached the point in the game back then, when they really started to be strong."
    IMHO as soon as arcane casters reach level 4, they are strong. Druids level 5 spell slots are magnificent. Clerics are not my forte, but then again, you didn't intend to use Anomen as a caster anyways.

    "I would really like to see an example of the 2 melees, 2 ranges, 2 casters party build you prefer, because for me ranges and casters are somewhat intertwined and Jaheira or Fighter/Cleric or pure Cleric can be melees but still caster, while additional to dedicated archers like Coren almost all my mages get some range-weapon to do something while they are not casting spells, either because i want to save their spells for harder fights or they are out of suitable spells at the end of a longer fight."
    I tend to play 3-4 man parties mostly, but a very ordinary setup in BG2 could for example be:
    Charname Berzerker/mage (Melee, arcane support, later on full on caster and melee support)
    Keldorn (melee)
    Cernd/Anomen/Viccy (divine caster, slinger, back-up melee)
    Neera/Nalia/Imoen (caster, darts of stunning etc)
    Yoshi/Imoen/Jan (ranged and/or caster + thief)
    Mazzy (ranged)

    This is just on example then, as said, but here you get one primary melee + charname as supporting melee. You get several ranged, one specialized and a couple of supporters (Nalia and Imoen can both use bows, yoshi can dual to fighter or stay as thief). You get several casters, but at least one singleclassed primary divine and one singleclassed primary arcane.

    The above is not a 'perfect' group, it's just an example how you can cover all the different areas using the strenghts of different NPCs. A more straight forward example using primarliy single classed characters could be:
    Charname B/M as per above (melee)
    Keldorn (Melee)
    Anomen (caster divine)
    Nalia/Imoen (Caster arcane and potential thief)
    Mazzy (ranged)
    Valygar or Yoshi (Ranged and potential thief)
    So 2 melee, 2 casters and 2 ranged with a thief.

    At the end of the day you can go through the game with any group, so it's all down to personal preference. This is just musings on the topic, so do with it what you will.

  • SouplesseSouplesse Member Posts: 90
    I prefer the bersek9/mage, you lost some Hp and 1/2 attack.. he is the best character for no reload ;) ( for me)
    But I don’t take Foa cause you can’t GWw and you can’t IH so I think Crom+Belm (+ gauntlet) is a better choice!

  • Oswald81Oswald81 Member Posts: 52
    What about Rassad instead of Keldorn or Anomen? Or HaerDaelis as he can be a very powerful tank if you time stuff right with him.

    Personally I never tend to take in Aerie despite the sequencer tick with arcane and divine spells. as I prefer having Jan to be the backup mage to either Neera, Edwin, Nalia or Imoen (I know you asked for a good-aligned party). I like the two latter as they have a bevy of hitpoints compared with Edwin and Neera, and can use some good ranged stuff like Tuigan, Tansheron and Gesen. If not the few darts and slings worth anything gets so much use and you must use them at times against like golems and other stuff immune to magic and even Jan can do damamge with dagger and shield having some defense there even though you can lop a shield onto Aerie and let her rock but I want a thief that don't betray me or half the party try to kill.

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