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Today was the first time I ...

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  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,185
    A response to @HalfOrcBeastmaster , hidden for length and because it's not really on topic.
    Today was the first time I finished the Baldur's Gate saga (in Enhanced Edition form and including SIege of Dragonspear) with no cheating and minimal use of Story Mode/EE Keeper. And I did it on Normal Difficulty.

    Some brief observations:

    ...

    2. All of my parties had a pretty standard set-up. By that I mean they used the default party system of six characters, i.e. 2 Warriors (1 Tank, 1 Scrapper/Archer), 1 Healer, 1 Caster, 1 Thief and 1 Extra (in my case Extra meant Bard each time but IMO it's not exclusively for bards). My Charname, Magnus, was always the tank. Rasaad was the Scrapper/Archer in BG1, a role he shared with Corwin in SoD, and Valygar took his place in SoA and ToB. My Healers were respectively Branwen, M'Khiin and Cernd. No, I did not suffer too much for neglecting a Cleric in BGII (I briefly recruited Anomen to use Sanctuary to steal stuff from the de'Arnise vault). Neera served as my caster all the way through, partially so I could see her questline and character development in full scope over the series, partially because she's one of only two romance options for male Dwarves and partially because of all the EE characters she's the one I like the most. Imoen served as my Thief for most of BGI before I swapped her out for Alora to ensure a proper transfer of equipment, then Glint served that role in SoD and finally, I used Yoshimo, then Imoen, then briefly Hexxat (because I wanted to play through her ToB quest and see one of the ways it ended) in BGII. Finally, the role of Extra went to the bards of each game: Garrick in BGI, Voghiln in SoD and Haer'Dalis in BGII, and I really enjoyed playing with all of them.

    Interesting thoughts on combat roles. I would actually separate things a bit more and have three different roles that warriors fit into.

    Tanks go up there in melee with as much defense as possible, drawing attention and attacks. They're built for survival, and dealing damage is secondary - but they're still usually pretty good at it. Dwarven defenders, berserkers, and paladins with heavy armor are the classic model here, but there are other ways to build a tank - a transformed shapeshifter druid, a fighter/mage with defensive spell buffs. And anyone in heavy armor can be an adequate tank.

    Skirmishers also fight in melee, but they're not built to take a hit. Mobility and tactical awareness are key here. Monks, barbarians, and backstabbers all fit here. Get in, hit hard, and get out when you need to. Unlike tanks, you don't really need one of these - but it's nice.

    Archers are just there to deal damage from long range. Obviously, the Archer kit is best at it, but most warriors can do a decent job. The value of archers really changes between games - they're much stronger in BG1 than BG2, largely because of item design. If my BG1 party has less than two archers, I'm looking for a way to change that. If my BG2 party doesn't have any archers (except maybe mages between casting spells), I don't sweat it.

    "Thief" is not a combat role. You want access to the thieving skills, but those aren't combat skills. Instead, your thief will have to find something to do in combat. And the best way to do it is to combine the thief class with something else. Single-class thieves are archers or skirmishers, and not great at either. Multi-class thieves can fill any role, depending on what the other class is.

    And then ... roles are fluid. You can easily have characters that fill multiple roles, or switch between them. My current fighter/thief is a tank in heavy armor most of the time, but she can take that armor off to go stealthy and play skirmisher, or use throwing daggers to play archer.
    4. In the pure caster priest smackdown, Cernd rules okay. I don't know if it's that druid shapeshifting started poorly balanced and was made better by Beamdog's tweaks, or it was always awesome and people just couldn't get around the spells druids lose out on compared to clerics, but every time Cernd would nail someone with his sling, slash them with his claws, crush them with his big earthy fists or simply shut down their casting with his little insect friends, I'd laugh a little inside at how he was proving the tier setters wrong. Maybe Shapeshifter was a weak-ass class back in the day, but now it's one of the better ones, I'd say. Roll a pure caster Shapeshifter, transform into frontline scrapper, turn back. Best of both worlds without having to be statistically optimised.

    Greater werewolf form is and has always been a fantastic tank, especially against magic. 100% immunity to fire, cold, lightning, and poison at high levels if you just put on a helm of defense. Fantastic AC. Magic resistance. Built well, you can just outlast mages and eventually wear them down.

    The weak point? It's not that good on the offense. No attack/damage bonuses from weapon enchantment means you miss a lot, and don't come close to a proper warrior's damage output. It's only a +2 enchantment in vanilla, so many of the more dangerous enemies can't be hit at all. You have to think beyond "how fast does this character kill enemies" to see the value of a shapeshifter.

    That said, I love it. I went so far as to exploit a quirk in a mod's improvements to shapeshifting to build a party entirely consisting of werewolves. Documented here.
    And then, after that, I ran two more variants with the same party but different protagonists.
    6. The only thing more satisfying than landing an Insect Plague spell is seeing Valygar, wearing a Girdle of Stone Giant Strength and armed with the upgraded Staff of the Ram, strike an unsuspecting wizard from stealth with a 14-22 total damage weapon at 20 Strength (meaning an extra +8 to damage) as a warrior with a x4 backstab modifier, chunking them long before they can get their fancy spells up. Thanks for teaching me that, Neera's ToB quest.

    Not quite as awesome as you might think; strength bonuses don't get multiplied in a backstab, and the staff's on-hit piercing damage doesn't either. Without specialization or other flat bonuses, that staff backstab deals (1d6+12)*4 + 8+1d4 damage, a total of 61-84 damage. If you really build for stabs, something like a kensai-thief dual ... that can one-hit fire giants.
    8. Given the Big Metal Unit's history as one of the first old-save-import perks in BioWare history, I'm surprised it doesn't have its own achievement. No matter, it's still very satisfying to accomplish and gives Cernd something to wear for a change.

    Uh, about that ... combining more than one polymorph/animation change is extremely likely to crash the game. Cernd can technically wear it, if you give him a strength boost. I wouldn't recommend it. This stuff can even generate saves that crash the game if you try to load them.
    With some mods that improve druid shapeshifting, it's a guaranteed crash; in my all-werewolf run, I dumped the Unit as unusable.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,845
    sarevok57 wrote: »

    Drogo has acquired his first diamond!

    shouldn't that have been his second one? there is a diamond in a tree directly above the location of xzar and montaron

    then if you went to the area where you meet elminster for the first time go north a bit then a bit east and you will see a big rock by itself and there is a ring of protection +1 in there

    When I am soloing I always head straight to Beregost via High Hedge so Drogo hasn't found the diamond in the tree yet. He should stumble across it when he finally heads north to the Friendly Arm Inn (which will be after he has acquired the Shield Amulet at Nashkel carnival - I don't want to take any chances when he runs into Tarnesh).

    sarevok57
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,845
    edited October 2020
    I am really enjoying playing Drogo the Dandy but rather than continue to derail this thread I might start a new one to detail the adventures of the half-orc beau sabreur.

    However, I will finish with one final "Today was the first time I . . ."

    Today was the first time I recovered the Colquetle Family Amulet and decided to wear it rather than return it.
    asntiua67d6z.png

    It catches the light rather well don't you think?

    Edit: If anyone is interested, Drogo's adventures continue here: https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/comment/1149905#Comment_1149905

    Post edited by Permidion_Stark on
    Balrog99AerakarZaghoul
  • HalfOrcBeastmasterHalfOrcBeastmaster Member Posts: 289
    @Permidion_Stark Did you edit his model from half-orc rogue to half-orc warrior or half-orc priest?

    Permidion_Stark
  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,845
    @Permidion_Stark Did you edit his model from half-orc rogue to half-orc warrior or half-orc priest?

    Yes. I used the Avatar Morphing Script in the Tweaks Anthology to change the way he looked. I wanted him to look like a big, lumbering guy but at the same time I wanted him to be as colourful as possible. I don't think he's a hiding in the shadows kind of guy so I felt the hooded outfit that thieves wear was the wrong look for him. Ideally, I would like him to be dressed like Lord Foreshadow or Lord Binky the Buffoon (basically someone wearing a hat with a feather in it) but I don't think that is possible.

    Aerakar
  • HalfOrcBeastmasterHalfOrcBeastmaster Member Posts: 289
    @Permidion_Stark Did you edit his model from half-orc rogue to half-orc warrior or half-orc priest?

    Yes. I used the Avatar Morphing Script in the Tweaks Anthology to change the way he looked. I wanted him to look like a big, lumbering guy but at the same time I wanted him to be as colourful as possible. I don't think he's a hiding in the shadows kind of guy so I felt the hooded outfit that thieves wear was the wrong look for him. Ideally, I would like him to be dressed like Lord Foreshadow or Lord Binky the Buffoon (basically someone wearing a hat with a feather in it) but I don't think that is possible.

    No, I don't think so either. You'd need a wild surge for something like that I think.

    I had Neera go technicolour a number of times when she surged.

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,185
    Lord Binky the Buffoon and Lord Foreshadow use the "NOBLE_MAN" animation. A save editor could apply that, although I'm not sure what weapons and armor would look like on it. Incidentally, Binky's colors come from the non-droppable cloak "CLOWN.itm".

    Today was the first time I used the Slayer form in combat.

    What prompted this? I was doing the Umar Hills quest, with Korgan in the party and reputation at 18 already. I needed a way to lower that, so I was going to use the form anyway. Slayer form grants level drain immunity, so - well, I might as well use that to my advantage in battle.

    bd0kwyaskfuv.jpg

    The next move ... Greater Whirlwind for the three warriors in melee with the dragon. Even triple hit points from high-difficulty SCS and a Wing Buffet weren't enough for the dragon to survive that round.

    Permidion_Starksarevok57JuliusBorisovArvia
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,811
    lets see... 3am? yeah i got time to jot this down...

    so this week is the first time i really REALLY tried taking a blade seriously, and had some interesting results;

    so, character creation, didn't really know what i was looking for here, so usually i just start at trying to hit 84 and go from there.... well a couple of minutes later at the latest and BOOM 95 ( damn )
    e331tnonet9r.jpg

    so if that didn't give me motivation, nothing would of

    so i was thinking; do i want to attempt melee or go ranged...? so i thought; know what, im going to try him out ranged, there is no way this dude is going to be viable EVER in melee combat ( in bg1 at least ) and to my minute surprise it actually worked out pretty well

    i gave him deadshot +2 ( since i had kivan on the team i had to run to the bandit camp quickly, so that was a bonus ) and i just kept him in the back chucking CC spells and it worked like a charm, and even more to my amazement, this guy was actually hitting stuff and dealing some damage, couldn't friggin' believe it, and if i needed a bit more umph offensive spin gave that little extra which works with a bow apparently, party on

    so through out all of bg1 i stayed in the back and shot mediocre/ a little bit more death from afar, and it worked out even better because i used imoen as my main mage and dualed her at level 6, so the synergy between the 2 worked out especially well, it almost blew my socks off, but since i was setting in my computer chair, my socks stayed on my feet unfortunately...

    anyway

    then bg2 comes in, and this time round i wanted to do a full female party - the party of femme fatales - is what i usually call this theme ( minus my holmes who was male, maybe he was in some sort of silly harem? which would make sense since aerie and jaheira were both going after him, oi, good thing i didn't have viconia along.... )

    but anyway with this 5 female team members that would mean i would have to rush off to spell hold relatively quickly so imoen wouldnt get too far behind, so i was thinking perhaps stay in the back for the first little bit, and then go melee later... but instead i said; ah screw it, lets just go melee right away

    and thankfully it wasn't a complete disaster... because luckily the scripts that i have made for myself do all the heavy lifting/ tedious prepping for me, any time baddies would appear my holmes would get to work with a spirit armor and a mirror image and shield and spell shield and some stoneskin and just go to town

    of coarse at the beginning he couldn't hit squat because i did a boo-boo and was thinking too far ahead and went two weapon style with katanas instead of long swords which would have been the better choice, but hey, having a rogue use weapons they aren't skilled with isn't bad is it....? hmm....

    but anyhow, i was surviving, amazingly enough, spell hold wasn't all that terrible, now that i have my 2 katanas that im finally skilled with and i was almost getting an attack roll the could hit something, and then continued on throughout the world of bg2 and i realized that even when i hit level 16 and could finally use tensor's transformation, i only used it maybe 3 times in all of SoA ( not being able to cast spells or use special abilities REALLY hurts when your buffs run out )

    in fact, one of my favourite battles was with kangaxx the demi lich, i couldnt believe it, i actually killed the demilich without using a protection from magic scroll like a chump and then just bash him in till battle over. I actually prepared properly and carefully, cast a whole bunch of defensive spells and what not, and fought him fairly, although he almost got me with that horrid wilting, oi did that hurt a lot, but luckily for whatever reason, my holmes, mazzy and jaheira all just barely survived that spell

    but then good ol' kangaxx the demilich came out and i took him out with just the blade, and spell protections, that run was probably the first run in YEARS where i didn't use the protection from magic scrolls to take out the 2 demiliches, my blade was cool enough to do it himself, so i thought that was actually kind of neat

    then, for the actual first time, EVER, i completed the bard stronghold ( i have only ever started it once, but never went through with it ) and it was actually kind of neat, since i NEVER have done it before so it was all new to me and i had no idea what i was doing

    and one part that got intense was when the play finally came on, i had to fill in the role of some actor and i haven't saved in ages, so i was put on the spot, couldn't reload to throw in a quick save in case i screwed up, it was all raw dawg, what happens, happens, so it was actually kind of tense, havent felt that sort of excitement for this game in ages, it was kind of badass

    luckily i did pretty well, apparently the only part that was bad was something to do with someone playing the wizard and it was awful or something like that, but in the end i succeeded and got the 50000 xp for finishing it so that was pretty neat

    and then ToB came and amazingly enough, holmes has been kicking some adequate amount of buttocks and taking names... well kind of... since his thac0 is only around zero or so, his kills are slowing down a bit as mazzy and jaheira with their better to hits are starting to mop up better than my guy now, but when it comes to combat for the most part, my guy is usually untouchable, thanks to my scripts, if a spell wears off or is dispelled or what not, my holmes will just cast it up again without me having to manually do it myself, gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous ( although mazzy was trying to win the: how many times can i get chunked in a play through award, like seriously bud, i've never seen a character die so much in ToB for whatever reason )

    so amazingly enough, the experience has been pretty decent so far, last time when i played a blade ( i think it was like 4 or 5 years ago ) it was kind of a pain in the ass because i had to manually cast EVERY single buff spell myself and it was just getting tedious and boring as hell, so that is why i abandoned that run

    but then i came to thinking about it and i realized something; bards in retrospect are kind of pointless in the grand scheme of things

    to me playing a bard is like working at a job and you are offered to get paid 30 dollars an hour but you only take 20 instead

    i came to this realization when i played bg1 with my blade and i thought to myself; wow, this guy is just a watered down fighter/mage/thief lol

    and when it comes to anything real useful anything a bard can do ( or any of it's kits ) a mage/thief ( for bard ) fighter/mage ( for blade ) cleric/mage ( for jester ) and perhaps cleric/mage or fighter/cleric/mage ( for skald ) those classes are just better than that bard type in every useful way

    the only one that is a bit tricky is the skald, they probably shine the best out of the bard classes since they can actually do something that no other class can really do, but then the question is; what is more useful in combat? small combat bonuses or another character actually engaging in combat itself whether through use of weapons or spell casting with CC spells, because a held enemy is a dead enemy regardless how good your AC and to hit/to damage is

    although, i guess you can only get the bard stronghold if you are a bard lewlz, so that is the one disadvantage of not being one ( unless you use mods i guess, but those type of mods arent my bag ) so maybe, in the faaaaaaarrrrrrrr off future, i might try out a bard type class again ( maybe even just for added spite just be a bard, no kit ) just so i can give the bard stronghold quest another go haha

    Balrog99Aerakar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,217
    @sarevok57 What do you mean when you say "viable". Because I've taken multiple melee only Blades from BG1 through ToB/Ascension.

    Aerakar
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,811
    at the beginning of bg1 they can't really hit squat, with 18 STR they have 19 thac0 and i didn't want to use offensive spin against every single enemy i came across, and even at max level in bg1 with the best gear in the game, they barely can get below 10 thac0 for melee

    so that is why i went ranged instead and ironically i found them to be more useful as a ranged character than as a melee character, for bg1 at least

  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,185
    At the beginning of BG1, just about everyone is terrible at melee. This is not a problem exclusive to Blades.

    Later on in BG1, you can put together some decent melee offense; a level 10 Blade with Offensive Spin active has effective 14 base THAC0, comparable to a level 8 monk's 13. Still, like the monk, you're not a tank. You can't wear heavy armor or a helmet, so you can't take the heat in melee.
    So then, that means you need to play a skirmisher role. Use that boosted speed to get in and hit vulnerable targets, then get out when the enemies turn their attention to you. The rest of the time, you stand in back, using some combination of song, spell, and bow.

    Back to the subject ... I had my petrification protection dispelled. While in melee with a greater basilisk. And got away.
    7vjumhbol45e.jpg
    My designated basilisk killer for this attempt was Khalid; level 7, buffed with a 19 strength potion, an oil of speed, a PfP spell, and a regeneration potion (after taking poison from the southern basilisks). The rest of the party was waiting in the south.
    Mutamin had a Remove Magic, and used it - PfP dispelled, potion buffs still active. As soon as I noticed, Khalid ran. The party got together to kill Mutamin and Kirian's party, before making for the southern edge of the map. Back to Beregost. Prepare more PfP spells. Come back to finish the job.
    lxha519b85xz.jpg
    Yeah, that's what happens when you rile up a basilisk. It doesn't just stand around doing nothing anymore.

    BlackravenThacoBell
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,185
    Not a max damage crit. Instead, that was a crit boosted by yoour character not having a melee weapon equipped. Carbos and Shank wield weapons with 0-1 base damage, so the only way they're doing 8 is if they get that +4 bonus.

    Also, you were using a setting that deactivated the level 1 one-hit-kill protection; "no difficulty-based damage changes", I believe.

  • smyth25smyth25 Member Posts: 218
    Now that I think about it, I believe what happened was that I had 3E sneak attack enabled, and since Shank (rather than Carbos, oops) is a thief (at least in SCS), he got an additional 1d6 against me. Still lucky for him though!

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,217
    @jmerry "Also, you were using a setting that deactivated the level 1 one-hit-kill protection; "no difficulty-based damage changes", I believe."

    THANK YOU. People keep talking about this "1 hit protection" and I've never seen it. I thought I was starting to think I was crazy or something. No one ever mentioned that it could be disabled.

    Aerakar
  • AngulimalaAngulimala Member Posts: 82
    Maybe not the first time ever (i probably did it once about 20 years ago and forgot), but today I made the executive decision to skip the drow city entirely. I do not appreciate being held hostage by a "good" dragon (for roleplay reasons).

    Blackraven
  • velehalvelehal Member Posts: 298
    I pretended to be member of Iron Throne with Laskal. He attacked me (to be honest I expected it). But I didn´t expect that killing in self-defense shadow druid would cost me 10 reputation points. I have SCS moditification that slows increase of reputation by 50%. So either I will have to donate hefty sum of money to temple or I will not probably reach heroic reputation again.

    Blackraven
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,185
    edited December 2020
    Killing vanilla Laskal won't harm your reputation. However, one of the more popular mods - not sure which one or which component - makes him an innocent.

    [Added in edit]
    OK, I think I found it - SCS, improved priests.

    Post edited by jmerry on
    sarevok57AngulimalaAerakarTresset
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,217
    A Shadow Druid "innoncent"? Bahahahhaha

    AerakarBalrog99
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,811
    did ya know that Hareishan comes back as a vampire in BG 2

    ArviaStummvonBordwehr
  • jmerryjmerry Member Posts: 2,185
    You don't have to be evil to be a dirty backstabber. But it does play very well. I recently had Alora solo the battlements of Durlag's Tower with the power of stabs.

    ArviaAerakar
  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,924
    I thought that they just didn't come up with another interesting name in BG2, didn't know the vampire was supposed to be the same person.

    As for backstabbing, yes, dead is dead, I've only recently come to the conclusion that in a battle, all strategies are fine, so rogue skills are just combat skills and not to be condemned for being "dishonorable". If I'm going to kill them either way, I might as well be smart and efficient about it. Unless it's someone who might have information or actually be innocent, of course.

    AerakarJuliusBorisov
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,811
    Arvia wrote: »
    I thought that they just didn't come up with another interesting name in BG2, didn't know the vampire was supposed to be the same person.

    As for backstabbing, yes, dead is dead, I've only recently come to the conclusion that in a battle, all strategies are fine, so rogue skills are just combat skills and not to be condemned for being "dishonorable". If I'm going to kill them either way, I might as well be smart and efficient about it. Unless it's someone who might have information or actually be innocent, of course.

    well im not 100% sure its the same person, but with a name like that, not too many people in the world are called Hareishan

    although bioware did mess up with Sendai, with one being in bg1 and then another being in ToB and both having nothing to do with each other

    whoops
    whoopsies

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