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Few questions coming from BG1/BG2

Hello there,

glad to see that these forums are still alive :) . I've played BG1 about 20 years ago (1 playthrough with a pure fighter, 1 with an Invoker mage if I remember correctly). Bought the BG1 EE + BG2 EE about 4 years ago (never even knew there had been a BG2 back then) as well as IWD EE.

I did 3 or 4 more playthroughs of BG1 I think and 1 full playthrough of BG2. Bought Siege of Dragonspear and I think I only did 1 playthrough on it (I think on BG1 I did one as a half-orc Berserker, 1 as a Kensai/mage solo 1 as a Sorcerer and 1 as a Darkmoon Monk. Siege of Dragonspear was with my Darkmoon Monk. With BG2 I tested with a few classes but settled with my sorcerer for the playthrough).

Long story short, I just found out about the Wolfwere/Werewolf island from BG1 this week and went back into an old save to check it out which led me to consider finally getting into IWD.

For once, with IWD, I can fully customize my party so I won't end up with 1 very strong character ("Charname") and a bunch of subpar companions that I try to salvage with unique magic items (to fix their str or dex, etc.) and being limited with my party composition due to some of their alignments.

I still have my old D&D 2nd edition books (the Monstruous Manual can come in handy when facing some monsters if I don't remember their weaknesses or strengths). So overall, I'm somewhat familiar with a part of these games (spells, classes, mechanics) but there are still a lot of things I haven't experimented with.

So right now I'm mostly trying to debate which classes to pick for my IWD EE party as there are some I'd like to fit in there, some I have never tried and am curious about and some that I feel are compulsory.

At the moment, I have:

1- Barbarian (half orc)
2- Kensai (18/98 str, intend on going Kensai/mage at lvl 7 or 9)
3- Sorcerer
4- Priest of Helm
5- Archer (Elf, 18/81 str)
6- ??

I rerolled several times so my important stats are generally all boosted.

1-Barbarian, I enjoy hard hitting bruiser kind of characters and arcane spell casters the most from what I've played so far. I THINK that the hardest hitting one (at least with a 2h weapon) would be the Barbarian (I'm never too sure between barbarian and berserker, they feel similar to me)?

2-Kensai I'm not 100% sure, I know it did great with the dual wield and katanas but I'm not even sure if there are good katanas in IWD EE (none were listed on that other mikerpg site but that was pre-EE) so he'd probably go with longswords/bastard sword proficiencies. Still, I think I didn't keep on going through BG2 with the Kensai/mage as it felt like I was hitting a point where he no longer would really be a melee assassin and just turn into some sort of subpar mage so I didn't really see the point in having this over a sorcerer (unless I wanted to solo through BG1/SoD/BG2).

3-Sorcerer I find is really good so I'm pretty sure about my pick here, just unsure if I need to grab Identify as a starting spell since I might have no other mages for it or if there are glasses of identify early on or something like that.

4-Priest of Helm, is mostly because I feel like a Cleric is mandatory... at least in the early game for the healing spells (they still have several other great spells like Hold Person and Command as well as buffs). Not too excited for this one taking a spot still.

5-Archer, mostly because I end up with too many melee characters that can't always all attack at once. Archer looked good with the tooltip if I wanted ranged dmg. In my previous games, I never really picked up rangers, I only had my thieves sometimes use a shortbow. Not sold on this one yet but I think it might be a good option since most classes that appeal to me are melee and they might get too much in the way of one another during fights.

---

6- Now I don't know for this spot. In most of my playthroughs, I had a "main tank" that would have a ton of health and a shield but weaker damage output like Kagain in BG1 or Anomen in BG2. I don't know if I'll "need" one again (Kensai can be squishy, especially early game, Barbarian also doesn't have the best armor, especially if I plan on using a 2h sword on him).

I feel like a Thief (or at least a multi or dual class Thief) is mandatory only because of possible traps to find/disarm or maybe locks to open... is it the case?

I read that Druids were strong in IWD, I only played Jaheira as a Druid before so I don't know them very well, Werewolf druid looks fun on paper.

People say Bards are also very good but I never had much interest in them.

I did kind of like the Inquisitor (Keldorn was the main reason I didn't make my own in BG2) although his magic dispell can also ruin my own buffs and they can't specialize like fighters can with weapons so they're not as strong.

Wizard Slayer looks good on paper but I assume that if you can land attacks on the mage, it's either cause it's a low lvl mage early game and he'll die before your debuff can stack up or you've had to use your own spell casters to debuff the enemy mage. Maybe I could use a Wizard Slayer + Inquisitor combo but that might be overkill?

Paladin Cavalier and Undead Hunter both sound decent.

Shaman I'm curious about, I've never seen them (I think they're new with EE) but don't know what they do aside from the class description.

---

Overall, I think I'd want to keep the Sorcerer. I would like to have at least 1 or 2 hard hitting melee characters. I think that I shouldn't get more than 3 melee characters if possible. I'm curious about Druid as I've never played a shapeshifter before. I think that I need to fit in a Thief somewhere (mandatory?), a Cleric (mandatory?) although some Cleric spells make it feel less of a wasted spot than a Thief. I'm guessing I might have to fit a "tank" too.

What would be some of your recommendations? I saw many people suggest a bunch of multi-class characters and dual-class ones but I'm afraid to end up with a party filled with jack of all trades, masters of none that level up super slowly and feel very weak throughout half of the playthrough if not more. I read that you can reach very high level but I think that is if you do more than 1 playthrough and that characters should be around lvl 14-15 by the end of the game (making it rather weak for multi and dual classes).

StummvonBordwehrAerakarTrauerweide

Comments

  • NoonNoon Member Posts: 184
    Welcome in this cold northern region, here is what i can say in general (i'm far from good at powergaming):
    - As you said yourself, you need some tank capability, and barbarian and kensai aren't the best at that. The cleric can do it, but it is not a great idea if he is going to cast spells often during fights. i would consider at least 1 warrior type with heavy armour.
    - Unlike the BG games, druids (and shamans) of IWD have access to some powerful offensive spells, and are useful throughout the whole game. You may be able to multi-class this one (i never played with their kits, so can't say about them). And there are still good at healing.
    - Thieves have their utility, especially in a 1st run. There are traps almost everywhere and some locks here and there. You should dual/multi-class it to keep it effective in combat though.
    - Bards are indeed powerful in IWD thanks to their songs. Support/summon spells before, and then singing during combat is great (and that would free your identification spell slot).
    - Anti-undead skills will also prove useful all game long.
    - Don't focus too much on anti-magic, you won't use it a lot.

    So there are many ways to form a good group, but be prepared to face a lot of enemies.

    AerakarBeetle
  • dp85dp85 Member Posts: 7
    I finished IWDEE for the first time this summer so it's pretty fresh in mind still. I actually used some of the classes/weapons you're asking about so I can answer some things anecdotally. For comparison, my party included a kensai (dual-wielding katana/flail), barbarian, assassin, shaman, sorc, and cleric/illusionist.

    First, your party looks fine. Since you've played the BG games, you'll already know basically what to expect combat-wise. I played with max HP on insane difficulty and found the game relatively easy. There are a lot of ambush-type battles when you enter new areas but most battles you can prep for including many boss battles. Note that there are not many enemy mages/clerics in the game and there's also no level drain.

    For your 6th member, personally, I'd take a thief (can be multi or dual-class) to be safe with traps but it's up to you. I don't recall there being too many locks in this game compared to BG2 or IWD2. You also mention a couple times being interested in druids, in which case you should take one (either as 6th member or replacing another character). Since the characters are blank slates, you'll enjoy it more if you really like your characters.

    A few other things... for identifying stuff, the only glasses of identify I found is from the Limited Wish spell though there is a sword that increases lore. If you don't want to use a bard, a thief holding the sword will have high-enough lore to identify most things. It's also not too expensive to identify at a temple.

    I debated Barbarian vs. Berserker as well for a character. I went with Barb because it fits the character in my headcanon better and is also better from ranged but Berserker is stronger in melee due to Grandmastery.

    For Kensai weapons, there are 2 good katanas, one that can instant-kill and another with increased crit chance. If you'd rather other weapons with more options, I had quite a few good long swords, axes, and flails/morningstars in my playthrough, but not many bastard swords.

    Shaman I found very broken right from the start due to having unlimited free summons/meatshields. You can't move while doing the shamanic dance but I rarely found that an issue, especially after learning Iron Skins. I can see it being more of an issue if soloing. Stalker (level 7 druid/shaman summon) is superior to any of the shaman spirits, but the dance is still useful for additional summons to overwhelm the enemies with. It is more of a passive class, like skald/jester, in that the character will likely be standing in one spot dancing for most battles unless casting a spell, so it's not a class to pick if you like more actively involved characters.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 595
    You DEFINITELY want a Thief for that 6th spot, yes. Traps are plenty and nasty in IWD, and they have a habit of being sprinkled in rooms where you'll be fighting enemies too, so sending an invisible Thief to scout ahead and disarm traps is practically mandatory on higher difficulty settings.

    You'll also fight plenty of undead in the game, so a Priest of Lathander gets a lot of mileage out of their special abilities, but nothing wrong with the other two kits if you prefer those for roleplaying factors. :)

    Arcane spellcasters are a bit more hamstrung in IWD compared to the BG series because you fight a lot of undead and elemental-type foes, which means they're often immune or resistant to a lot of the classic AoE blaster spells. On the other hand, mages get more buff-type spells such as Emotion: Courage which do an excellent job of complementing your cleric's traditional buff spells. Not to mention that you'll still want the ever-popular Haste spell and various CC/debuff spells for the situations that require them, so it's still worth bringing one arcane caster. Two is overkill though, as scrolls are rarer in IWD compared to the BG series and so if you have multiple mages they'll be constantly fighting over scrolls.

  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 65
    Thanks for the replies, they're very helpful :) (I was afraid no one would take the time to reply to my post after I saw how big of a wall of text it was but then again, there's a lot of reading required in those old games haha).

    I went with the Werewolf Druid as 6th but I haven't really progressed in the game yet (just done 2 early game quests to buy wine and kill a single wolf). I exported all 6 of the characters I made so I can change my party around and not have to worry about having to recreate the other characters and reroll stats several times.

    Good to know that there aren't that many enemy casters (I remember there being a lot in BG2 but I could be wrong, it's been a while since I played it) as I was really considering trying an Inquisitor+Wizard Slayer. I guess I'll keep that for BG2 if I play it again instead.

    Many Undead... hm.. I might give the anti-undead kits a shot in this case then. I guess I could also dual or multiclass a thief/cleric to fix some of those dilemas I had.

    I forgot about the fact that Berserker could have Grandmastery with weapons while Barbarian can't (must be the reason I played Berserker in the past over the other one). My logic was more that the +4 str on a 19 str Half-Orc seemed like a huge deal (especially early game). In BG1, potions to boost the str were very powerful while in BG2, I had so many buffs that it often felt easy to reach the 25 str cap without potions if I remember well. Not knowing where IWD stands on that, that's why I considered barbarian over berserker (but the lower armor is the downside).

    I'll think about the tank, a multi or dual class thief (multi might be safer?), the other druid kits (the werewolf one is pretty cool but I'm not sure if it's actually that good compared to all the other shapeshifts and I can't cast spells during it either). I'll take a 2nd look at the Bard kits and look back into the anti-undead kits. Shaman I'm still curious about but unsure if I want to have a character that just stands there and channels summons that I can't control.

  • NeoNeo Member Posts: 65
    edited October 29
    So I made new characters, swapped some around and have exported them to have more options but I'm still unsure what to use for a good tank.

    I kept the Sorcerer and the Werewolf Druid and changed the others. I now had:

    1- Berserker (Half-Orc)
    2- Sorcerer
    3- Undead Hunter with 18/99 str (dual wield, replaced the Kensai)
    4- Druid (Werewolf Shapeshifter)
    5- Cleric/Thief (Half-Orc)
    6- ??

    Only the Undead Hunter I'm unsure about right now but I'd like to try one out for fun (for maximizing though, I think that a regular Half-Orc fighter could dish out the same damage or more vs undead and obviously more vs everything else so I don't know if the few low lvl priest spells and other perks will make up for that).

    I wanted to grab the archer but it'd be a plain character and I guess I still need a main tank. I think that Half-Orc would make the strongest tank (I originally thought Dwarf but it has the armor penalty from lower Dex while Half-Orc has int penalty instead). None of the Fighter kits seem to be suited towards tanking though. Wizard slayer has a bit of magic resistance but not being able to use potions, amulets and such might offset this advantage. I don't really want a 2nd Berserker. Barbarian has more hp but lower armor so I also don't think it's an ideal choice. Otherwise, I was looking into Paladins (most likely Cavalier) but I'm forced to be human if I do this (lower hp, lower dmg) and the stats requirements are pretty heavy for that one making it very hard for me to max out dex+con (unless I should give up on the 18 str). What do you guys think would make a good "main tank"? Otherwise I could go with a Cleric kit as main tank but the hp is a bit lower and I don't know if a lot of his kit (spells) will be wasted by doing this.

    I made an Half-Orc Cleric (Lathender) to see but it seems like the 19 con only gives +2 hit points per level to this class (10 total hp vs 15 for my berserker). I don't know if I should go with it or if not having that extra 50% hp will be significant later on.

    Post edited by Neo on
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,433
    You said before that you like arcane spells, so you might want to give a bard a go. As others have said their songs (they have a selection to choose from) are far more powerful than in the BG games and include the ability to regenerate the party - meaning healing ability becomes less of an issue later on. There are far fewer spell scrolls than in BG, but with only a bard who relies on learning from those that's less of a problem.

    I noticed by the way that you said it was nice to be able to create your own custom party in IWD. That was also possible in BG, but used to require a work-around by creating a multi-player party and then moving a save to single player. In the EE though you can create your own party from scratch directly, so you might wish to experiment with that at some point in the future.

    Neo
  • MercastorMercastor Member Posts: 5
    HI, I second the idea of a plain Bard for the 6th spot. All their abilities come in handy at one point or another and they give access to Bard-only dialogue options and items. And at Level 10 the Bard can give a Cleric a run for his money when It comes to Healing, which changes the dynamics of the game in more ways than is obvious at first glance.

    I suggest you make the Undead Hunter / Paladin your dedicated tank. That may require you to compromise his Str but If his main role is to be a shield for the heavy hitter then that shoud be acceptable. For bigger battles he can quaff a Potion of x Giant Strength and the 2nd level Mage spell Strength lasts 1 hour/ level, so when cast by a Bard ( faster level progression ) It should carry him through the day. Later in the game there are items that boost Str or set It to a fixed value so the compromise isn't really that big.

    For the Cl/ Th I would consider a Gnome istead of H-O because there are items with race restrictions and also because the shorties deserve some love;)

    NeoIamdorf
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 4,750
    you can actually create your own team in the BG series as well, during character creation there is a "create party" button, press that and you can have a custom team of up to 6 chums

    NeoIamdorf
  • TrauerweideTrauerweide Member Posts: 27
    edited October 30
    Your team is pretty nice, and as always it is most important to have fun. So if you are happy with your chars and maybe rp a bit stick with them.

    In my experience archers are top notch. And there is a very good bow you can get. I think it was „Seths“. But stock up on arrows before leaving towns 🙂!

    A pure thief is not necessary. Roll a multi class. As fighters are strong in IWD i would multi a fighter/thief.

    And last but not least - take a bard! I never liked them myself but the songs are awesome in IWD. I had once a playthrough with 2 palas, 1 fighter/thief and 3 bards - skald, vanilla, jester. It was fund and due to the buffs the palas smashed everything to pieces.

    Post edited by Trauerweide on
  • IamdorfIamdorf Member Posts: 59
    You could always do what I do; make a party, play the first area, decide you want to try another combination, rinse and repeat. ;) Seriously though, once you get the bard song War Chant of the Sith I think you will like bards.

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